Back Lot Number: 329  
     

Lot 329
 
Description: Significant Babe Ruth autographed professional model baseball bat attributed to his Home Run hit in Game #6 of the 1923 World Series. Babe Ruth excelled in the Major Leagues almost immediately upon his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1914. In his first World Series appearance in 1916, Ruth pitched a marvelous 14-inning complete game win against the Brooklyn Robins. Ruth's success continued with the Red Sox for several more seasons until his sale to the Yankees in 1919. New York provided the stage that Babe Ruth so very much deserved. During Ruth's first three seasons from 1920-22, he hit 148 home runs and batted .376, .378, and .315 respectively. He also led the Yankees to two American League pennants in 1921 and 1922, only to be defeated in the Championship Series by the New York Giants in both years. The 1923 season, however, promised to be one of epic proportions. The Yankees finally had a stadium of their own and Babe Ruth was poised to lead them to their first World Championship. Expectations were high and the results did not disappoint. After guiding the Yankees to the American League pennant with a record of 98-54, Babe Ruth prepared to meet the Giants yet again in the World Series. The Yankees stumbled in Game #1 but came roaring back in Game #2 behind two Babe Ruth home runs. After losing Game #3, the Yankees came back to capture both Game #'s 4 and 5 to come within one win of their first World Championship. Game #6 was played at the Polo Grounds where Ruth and the Yankees had suffered defeat in 1921 and 1922. In the first inning, Ruth set the tone with a mammoth home run off of Giants pitcher Art Nehf into upper tier of the right field grandstand to give the Yankees an early lead. The Giants came back to take the lead by a score of 4-1 and cruised into the eighth inning behind their star pitcher Nehf. Beginning in the fourth inning, Nehf had retired (17) straight Yankee batsman except for a walk to Ruth. It appeared that once again, the Giants were headed to victory. The eighth inning however, saw Nehf unravel as the Yankees scored five runs including two by consecutive walks to take the lead at 6-4. The Yankees, and Babe Ruth, had finally won their first World Series. Offered is an exceptional Babe Ruth professional model baseball bat which has been inscribed to New York Giants pitcher Art Nehf on the date of Game #6 of the 1923 World Series. Louisville Slugger 125 model bat measures 36" long and weighs 40.6 ounces. The bat exhibits superb use including ball marks, cleat marks, grain swelling, and a light handle crack (professionally repaired). The handle also exhibits light scoring indicative of early 1920s era Ruth game used bats. A slightly 'flattened' area is present just above the barrel end stampings, which is also typically seen on Ruth game used bats. Both the Louisville Slugger centerbrand stampings (1921-31 labeling period) and the "Babe Ruth" facsimile name stampings remain very bold. The barrel of the bat has been signed in black fountain pen, "To My Friend Art Nehf From "Babe" Ruth Oct. 15th, 1923". Salutation and signature remain very bold rating 9 out of 10. Based on the period signature to Art Nehf, with the specific date inscription coinciding with Game #6 of the World Series, it is highly likely that the offered bat is in fact the one used by Ruth to hit the home run off of Art Nehf. The presence of the handle crack (repaired) is especially worth noting because Ruth came to bat three times during Game #6, with results as follows: At bat #1: Home Run; At Bat #2: Walk; At Bat #3: Strike Out. Because Ruth walked and struck out in his 2nd and 3rd attempts at the plate, the only occasion we can document Ruth actually hitting a baseball came in the first at bat when he hit the home run. Furthermore, because a cracked bat would have never been brought to the Polo Grounds from Yankee Stadium, it is fair to assume the bat was cracked in Game #6. When Ruth's at bat performances are considered together with the handle crack and the handwritten inscription, it is highly probable Ruth used the offered bat to hit his first inning home run. Lastly, as evidenced by several other documented Babe Ruth game used and signed bats of historical significance, it is definitive that Ruth himself was apt to present such bats to various friends and acquaintances. One example of this was the bat sold in Hunt Auctions 2006 MLB All-Star FanFest Auction (See July 2006, Lot #325 in the 'Completed Auctions' section at www.huntauctions.com). That particular bat was attributed to Ruth's 59th home run of the 1921 season and included a signed letter from Ruth written to the brother of his theatrical agent. While the proliferation of Ruth game used bats is well documented, the offered exemplar certainly rates among the very finest. With regard to condition, dating period, attribution to World Series use, signature quality, and likely historical significance, this exemplar will stand as one of the most substantive offerings of its type to have been offered at public auction. Includes LOA from James Spence Authentication (signature), LOA from Hunt Auctions, Inc. (bat/signature), and LOA from MEARS Authentication (Graded A 10): Bat: EX, Signature: EX/MT-NM
Sold For: $280,000.00

 
Estimated Price: (Estimate Upon Request)  
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