Holiday Auction Closing December 7 ,2019
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 12/7/2019 10:30:00 PM

Lot #5: Babe Ruth Single Signed "The Babe Ruth Story" 1st Edition Hardcover Book (Beckett GEM MINT 10)

Description

Countless books, magazine and newspaper articles chronicle the life and career of George Herman “Babe” Ruth. Why is he still a legendary figure, not just to American baseball fans but to the casual sports fan and history buff? For one thing, Ruth changed the game of baseball and the fanbase of the game expanded when he became a part of it. The first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time, Ruth came to the big leagues as a lefty pitcher with the Red Sox, where he won 89 games in six years while setting the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings. Because of his prodigious power he was shifted to the outfield after his sale to the Yankees in 1920, where the “Sultan of Swat” would lead a powerful and renowned New York squad to seven American League pennants and four World Series titles. Ruth retired in 1935, after a partial season with the Boston Braves, ending his 22-year big league career with 714 home runs, including his remarkable 60 in 1927. His lifetime statistics also include 2,873 hits, 506 doubles, 2,174 runs, 2,213 RBI, a .342 batting average, a .474 on-base percentage, and a .690 slugging percentage. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.

Presented is a Babe Ruth signature on the half title page of his 1948 autobiography, “The Babe Ruth Story,” by Babe Ruth as told to Bob Considine. “The Bambino” has signed his name in blue fountain pen inside the hardcover first edition of the E.P. Dutton book, which was published in April 1948. The red cloth binding with black text has a red, white and black book jacket, illustrated with photos of Ruth at bat on the front cover, tipping his cap at the bottom of the front cover and on the spine, and in conversation with his ghostwriter, Bob Considine, on the back cover. The dust jacket is enclosed in a clear plastic sleeve, and aside from a small tear in the lower right corner of the spine, is in very good condition. The book is in very good condition with clean white pages. “My Only Authorized Story” is displayed on the front cover above the title. The front endpapers feature a photo of Ruth at bat and a chronicle of his 1927 season in which he hit a record 60 home runs, while the back endpapers feature an illustration of “The House That Ruth Built. The book has 49 black & white photographs interspersed within the 250 pages.

Ruth would die from an inoperable, cancerous tumor at the base of his skull on August 10, 1948, only a few weeks after the publication of this book. Ruth had been receiving chemotherapy in 1946 and 1947, but by late 1947, Ruth was unable to help with the writing of the book, which was almost entirely ghostwritten. In and out of the hospital in Manhattan, he left for Florida in February 1948, doing what activities he could. After six weeks he returned to New York to appear at a book-signing party. He also traveled to California to witness the filming of the movie based on the book, which starred actor William Bendix as “The Babe. On June 5, 1948, a "gaunt and hollowed out" Ruth visited Yale University to donate a manuscript of “The Babe Ruth Story” to its library. At Yale, he met with future president George H. W. Bush, who was the captain of the Yale baseball team. On June 13, Ruth visited Yankee Stadium for the final time in his life, appearing at the 25th-anniversary celebrations of "The House that Ruth Built". By this time, he had lost much weight and had difficulty walking. Introduced along with his surviving teammates from 1923, Ruth used a bat as a cane. Nat Fein's photo of Ruth taken from behind, standing near home plate and facing "Ruthville" in right field, became one of baseball's most famous and widely circulated photographs, and won the Pulitzer Prize.

Ruth made one final trip on behalf of American Legion Baseball, then entered Memorial Hospital in New York, where he would die. He was never told he had cancer, but before his death, had figured it out. He was able to leave the hospital for a few short trips, including a final visit to Baltimore. On July 26, 1948, Ruth left the hospital to attend the premiere of the film The Babe Ruth Story. Shortly thereafter, Ruth returned to the hospital for the final time. He was barely able to speak. Ruth's condition gradually grew worse; only a few visitors could see him, one of whom was National League president and future Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick. "Ruth was so thin it was unbelievable. He had been such a big man and his arms were just skinny little bones, and his face was so haggard", Frick said years later. Thousands of New Yorkers, including many children, stood vigil outside the hospital during Ruth's final days. On August 16, 1948, at 8:01 p.m., Ruth died in his sleep at the age of 53. His open casket was placed on display in the rotunda of Yankee Stadium, where it remained for two days; 77,000 people filed past to pay him tribute. His funeral Mass took place at St. Patrick's Cathedral; a crowd estimated at 75,000 waited outside. Ruth was buried on a hillside in Section 25 at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. This item comes with a LOA from Steve Grad of Beckett Authentication (A25527) and Ruth’s signature has been graded GEM MINT 10.

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$7,380
Minimum Bid:$3,500
Number of Bids:7