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1932 New York Yankees Team Signed Half-Bat with Ruth and Gehrig
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $9,400.00
New York Yankees team-signed items were well represented in the Barry Halper Collection; however, when asked to choose a favorite, Barry was never hesitant in pointing to this special piece: a Lew Fonseca pro model bat, that has been cut in half and signed by twenty-one members of the 1932 World Champion New York Yankees including Ruth and Gehrig. Its unique nature notwithstanding, Barry's delight with this piece always centered around the inscription preceding the signatures that reads "To the boys of Chicago, Sincerely." Barry always contended that this bat originated from a member of Al Capone's gang, and when showing this piece to visitors, he liked to joke that the "boys" referenced here "were definitely not the Boy Scouts." The Yankees did have occasion to travel to Chicago each season to meet the White Sox, and in 1932 they played the Cubs in the World Series. Whether or not this signed bat represented the team's "tribute" to "Big Al" during one of those visits is anyone's guess, but it does make for a good story and certainly adds to the allure of the piece. The signatures featured on the bat, in descending order, are those of Babe Ruth (grading "8"), Red Ruffing, Earle Combs, Lou Gehrig ("7"), Frank Crosetti, Bill Dickey, Ben Chapman, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, George Pipgrass, Doc Farrell, Johnny Allen, Art Jorgens, Jack Saltzgaver, Dan MacFayden, Herb Pennock, Lyn Lary, Sam Byrd, Myril Hoag and Joe Sewell. Below the player names, scripted vertically, is the signature of Joe McCarthy. Printed below McCarthy's name, in parenthesis, is the notation "MGR - 1932." All of the signatures have been penned in black fountain pen and are fairly uniform in grade, averaging "7." The signature model bat dates to the 1921-1931 manufacturing period and is stamped "Bone Rubbed" above the center brand. Lew Fonseca joined the White Sox in 1931 and played three seasons in Chicago before retiring in 1933. The bat has been halved to nine inches above the knob, leaving approximately half of the handle intact. Barry loved this piece and always displayed it just inside his office door so that it was always one of the first stops on his guided tour of the collection. This is an extraordinary signed New York Yankees team-signed bat and one of the most significant highlights from his original collection that Barry Halper chose to keep for display. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$7,500+. SOLD FOR $9,400.00
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