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Lot # 1033 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1940 Babe Ruth Signed Photograph Relating To "Called Shot"

Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $3,231.25

Offered is a very attractive and unique Babe Ruth signed photo that, albeit indirectly, relates to his famed “Called Shot” in the 1932 World Series. The photograph pictures Ruth and his manager Christy Walsh posing together with sportswriter Joe Williams at a nondescript location (it appears to be the rooftop of a building). Both Ruth and Walsh have inscribed the photo to Williams. Ruth has personalized the photo in black fountain pen “To my pal Joe – Sincerely Babe Ruth.” Walsh has added the brown fountain pen inscription “A dozen years have gone but the friendship lingers on between Joe Williams and Christy Walsh – 1928-1940.” Both the inscriptions and signatures are virtually perfect and grade “9” overall. The Ruth signature is especially strong with sharp contrast as it is penned in dark black ink. If it weren’t for Joe Williams, one of the most famous moments in baseball folklore might have remained simply a footnote to what was otherwise a rather mundane World Series. As sports editor for the Scripps-Howard newspapers, it was Williams who, in his coverage of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, wrote the headline in the New York World-Telegram that read “RUTH CALLS SHOT AS HE PUTS HOME NO. 2 IN THE SIDE POCKET.” Williams was the only sportswriter that day who made special note of Ruth’s "pointing" to the center field bleachers before hitting his second home run. With the paper’s stature and large circulation the story quickly spread and other newspapers picked up on it, thus giving birth to one of the game’s most legendary controversies and legends. Ruth never publicly commented on the "Called Shot," but you can be sure that the truth was discussed in the years that followed by Ruth, Williams, and Christy Walsh. They may have even been joking about it in this photograph! Christy Walsh was a newspaper man by trade and operated the nation’s leading celebrity sports-writing syndicate. As such, he and Williams were close friends and had occasion to see each other often, both on a personal and business level. In addition to his newspaper business, Walsh also served as Ruth’s longtime agent, publicist and manager. This is an outstanding Ruth signed photo and one that will have all the more appeal to those who appreciate historical asides. (And that is precisely why Barry Halper chose to keep this striking Ruth-signed photo, because it has this fascinating extra historical dimension.) The photo (8 x 10 inches) is in Excellent to Mint condition (image area) and has been professionally matted and framed with UV-protection glass to total dimensions of 14 x 16 inches. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$2,500. SOLD FOR $3,231.25


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