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1938 Brooklyn Dodgers Team-Signed Baseball With Babe Ruth
Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $4,930.00
Official National League (Frick) ball is signed in black ink by twenty-two members of the 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers including Babe Ruth. This rare team-signed ball has a special significance to Babe Ruth's career, representing the final chapter of his career and the close of his hope to be a Major League manager. Although Ruth openly campaigned for a managerial position in the years immediately following his retirement as a player, offers were not forthcoming. Ruth felt particularly slighted that the Yankees had not given him an opportunity to manage. His only official association with any club following his 1935 retirement as a player came in 1938, when he was hired as a first-base coach by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ruth took the job with the explicit understanding that he would be given an opportunity to eventually take over for then-manager Burleigh Grimes. Unfortunately, he soon realized that he had been hired strictly as a drawing card to boost attendance for the struggling club. Ruth had no interest in being a sideshow attraction at first base. He wanted to be manager. He resigned almost halfway through the season. When Ruth signed this team ball, his dream of being a Major League manager was still alive. It was exciting for Ruth, and for fans, to see the greatest living legend the game has ever known suit up again. This excitement was short-lived, but this team ball remains as a reminder of those few months when Ruth was back on the field, when countless fathers with their young sons pointed to Ruth on the field and told of his great legend. Ruth's signature, which sits slightly off center of the sweet spot, is the strongest on the ball and grades "7/8." The remaining signatures are those of Cuyler, Fitzsimmons, Hamlin, Rosen, Stainback, P. Rogers, Van Mungo, L. Rogers, LaMaster, Shea, Campbell, Frankhouse, Phelps, Koy, Hudson, Tamulis, Posedel, Hassett and three others (illegible). Signatures range from "3" to "7", averaging "5/6." The ball is lightly toned, very lightly soiled, and has been coated with a light layer of protective shellac. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain bold and distinct. Very Good to Excellent condition. This is a very attractive ball which displays beautifully, with an exceptionally strong and bold signature of Babe Ruth signed as coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$2,500. SOLD FOR $4,930.00
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