Hunt Auctions is honored to announce a highly significant offering of historic baseball artifacts and personal materials from the collection of New York Yankees’ legend Babe Ruth. The collection has largely remained unknown to the general public and includes hundreds of pieces relating to the life and career of the most iconic player in the history of the game.
Babe Ruth ascended to the highest pinnacle in the sport of baseball from humble beginnings as a troubled young boy who entered St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys at the age of 7. Ruth quickly became noticed as an outstanding young player under the guidance of Brother Mathias Boutlier and was signed by Baltimore Orioles owner, Jack Dunn, in 1914. After brief Minor League stints with Baltimore and Providence clubs, Babe Ruth began his Major League Baseball career with the Boston Red Sox. Ruth would go on to play for 22 years primarily with the Red Sox and famously the New York Yankees after a sale to the team in 1920. His acumen as a dominant pitcher and penchant to hit tape measure home runs quite literally changed the manner in which the game was played. Babe would end his career in 1935 with statistics and a resume that had not previously been seen in the game of baseball: 714 Home Runs, .342 batting average, 2,213 Runs Batted In, Seven Time World Champion, 12 Time AL Home Run leader, and election into the inaugural class of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
While the career accomplishments of Babe Ruth on the field rank at the highest level of achievement, it was his general popularity and larger-than-life character that cemented his legacy as a seminal figure in the history of American popular culture. Ruth lived his life just as he played it on the field, with a charisma not seen before—or since—in American sports. Babe became the most popular figure in the country during the roaring 1920s era inclusive of numerous off the field business endorsements. Through all of Ruth’s popularity, he never forgot his humble beginnings and consistently devoted time to charitable causes—particularly those relating to the needs of children. It is due in no small part to the beloved icon’s status, honored by generations of fans, that he remains the most popular athlete in American history.
“The legacy and significance of Babe Ruth to the game of baseball and American popular culture is unmatched by any other figure in the history of this country,” remarked David Hunt, President Hunt Auctions. “We are completely humbled for this opportunity afforded to our company by the Ruth family to present this previously unknown archive of materials to Babe’s adoring fans. The importance of this offering cannot be overstated to which we fully expect record pricing levels in numerous categories.”
“My grandfather, Babe Ruth, remains a guiding force in my life today,” said Linda Ruth Tosetti, Granddaughter of Babe Ruth. “The way he lived his life and its effect on others continues to amaze me every day. For many years, we have cherished the items within his personal collection and have been blessed to represent his legacy through our many family endeavors. The decision to share items from his personal collection was made with careful consideration and the intent to further his legacy within a new generation of baseball fans. Babe’s collection has remained largely unknown to the general public and we felt it was time to bring these amazing pieces of his life to light. There could be no other place to showcase these items than Yankee Stadium and we are also thrilled to be able to benefit related charitable entities through the sale of these items.”
“This special auction will provide the opportunity to share some of the Ruth family memorabilia that has remained in our possession since the Babe’s passing in 1948,” said Tom Stevens, the Babe’s grandson. “None of these items have been previously offered to the collecting public. The Babe lived a life that was meaningful to millions of fans for many diverse reasons. Perhaps one of the most important was that he offered hope and inspiration during the depths of the depression, because despite his humble beginnings, Babe Ruth grew up to become the very embodiment of the American Dream. And make no mistake, he is still as relevant today as ever. This offering of items provides glimpses of that life, in and out of baseball. I sincerely hope that they bring great pleasure to the winning bidders as they did my family, while generating some income for some very worthwhile charities.”
Highlight Items from the Ruth Collection will include:
- Babe Ruth Professional Model cleats
- Babe Ruth 60th Home Run Autographed display piece
- Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan Champion Batsman presentational trophy
- Lou Gehrig signed and inscribed photograph to Babe Ruth
- Babe Ruth’s 1930-31 New York Yankees “Better year than President” player contract
- Babe Ruth 1935 Boston Braves autographed contract agreement
- Babe Ruth personal check ledger with related signed documents
- Babe Ruth single signed baseballs and autographed photographs
- Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan presentational pass
- Babe Ruth personal photographic albums including autographed exemplars
- Babe Ruth 12 Point Deer Trophy Mount with photographic provenance
The live auction will take place at Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2019 with a number of additional special advance preview events in planning. Fittingly for an auction celebrating the life and legacy of Babe Ruth, a portion of the proceeds will benefit several related charities.