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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2016
Of all the ball players who had reason to forget their hometown roots, Babe Ruth ranks as number one. The Babe's earliest childhood memories of Baltimore were of his mother's death, youthful hooliganism on the city's docks and his banishment behind the walls of St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. Yet forgetting his hometown was not who the Babe was. From the time he left Charm City to join the Red Sox in 1914 until the very last years of his life, Babe Ruth made special trips back to his hometown. In turn, the city of Baltimore loved their home grown superstar, and every trip was marked by marching bands and banquets given in his honor. One such event was "Babe Ruth Day" held at the Maryland State Fair in September of 1927. This special day in his honor coincided with the greatest season in baseball history. In September of that year the Babe was putting the finishing touches on his finest offensive season in which he broke his old single-season record of 59 home runs, adding one more to make it an even 60. It's awe-inspiring to think that every home run Ruth hit after 1920 would be a new big league record. No one had seen anything like the power Ruth's bat possessed, and when thrown into a line up with the likes of Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Earle Combs, Bob Meusel and Mark Koenig you had the greatest team in Major League history. Called "Murderer's Row" by the press, Ruth and company steamrolled their way to the American League pennant. When "Babe Ruth Day" was held at the Maryland State Fair in September, 1927, the Bambino was at the very pinnacle of his Hall of Fame career. To show their hometown hero how much they appreciated him, Ruth was presented with a top of the line gold plated Hamilton pocket watch. Suspended from a splendidly detailed approximately 7” gold watch chain, the watch case was specially engraved to mark the event: "THE PRIDE OF BALTIMORE, MD. PRESENTED TO GEORGE HERMAN RUTH NEW YORK YANKIES(sic) MARYLAND STATE FAIR SEPT 1927". The personal inscription left no doubt how the people of Baltimore felt about their favorite son. Turning the watch over to the face, the first thing you notice is the fine craftsmanship. The face is ringed by a scalloped edging with an early Art Deco-style winding screw. The watch face is finely detailed, the 1-12 numerals augmented on its outer perimeter with all 60 seconds individually marked. An additional stop watch dial is set in the 6 o'clock position, making this a visually stunning example of 1920's American craftsmanship. The watch was handed down by the Babe to his niece Florence Binau. She in turn passed this family heirloom down to her son Robert Binau. The current owner obtained the watch from a friend of Robert Binau and was on display at the Babe Ruth Museum from 1995 thru 2005. The Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania matched this watch's movement serial number 302373 to a manufacturing date of June 26, 1903. This earlier date was common for the time as the movements were expensive to make and would have been unhand for many years awaiting its eventual placement in a watch case. The watch's condition is outstanding with even wear from use. The inscription on the back is easily read and the details of the case itself are outstanding. A detailed report from Hamilton who inspected the watch accompanies. The casing for the watch was produced mid 1920s. In addition, the engraving was inspected by multiple experts and was found to be period correct. A one-of-a-kind tribute that beautifully illustrates a city's pride in their favorite son who made good. Comes with Letter from Babe Ruth Museum as well as letter from individual who obtained it from the Binau family.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $25,095.00
Estimate: $50,000+
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Sunday, May 8, 2016.
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