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1948 NY Yankees "Silver Anniversary" Dinner Invitation to Joe Bush - Signed by 23 New York Yankees Players
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,058
Addendum: Please Note - the signer Bill Robinson, who is identified as a sportswriter in the original catalog description, is in fact Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, famed tap dancer and actor.
The New York Yankees is baseball's most storied franchise and this rare 1948 dinner invitation, which is signed by twenty-three prominent members of the Yankee family, is directly related to one of the most memorable events in team history. On July 13, 1948 the New York Yankees marked the silver anniversary of Yankee Stadium in grand fashion. In addition to inviting members of the 1923 World Championship to participate in an Old-Timers' Day game against representatives of later Yankee clubs, the club also honored the team's greatest player, Babe Ruth, by retiring his now famous number "3" uniform. Ruth was terminally ill at the time, but he managed to make his way to the plate, using Bob Feller's bat as a cane, to offer his final farewell to his former teammates and the fans. It was also on that day that photographer Nat Fein took his haunting Pulitzer-Prize-winning photo of Ruth, titled "The Babe Bows Out," which is considered by many to be the finest sports photograph ever taken. On the night prior to that historic day, George Ruppert, the brother of former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, invited members of the 1923 club, as well as later and present-day team members, to attend a special anniversary dinner held at the Ruppert Brewery. This is the very invitation sent to former pitcher "Bullet" Joe Bush. It reads in part: "The Yankees And George Ruppert Cordially Invite Mr. Joe Bush To Attend The Yankee Stadium's Silver Anniversary Dinner At The Ruppert Brewery...Saturday, June 12, 1948." It has been signed on the reverse by twenty-three individuals who attended the dinner that night, most of whom were members of the 1923 club: Bob Meusel, Sam Jones, Waite Hoyt, Carl Mays, Wally Schang, Elmer Smith, Wally Pipp, Ed Barrow (general manager in 1923), Bucky Harris (Yankees manager in 1948), Mike McNally, George Pipgras, Whitey Witt, Joe Dugan, Hinkey Haines, Fred Hofmann, George Weis (general manager in 1948), Bill Robinson (sportswriter), A. E. "Red" Patterson (sportswriter), Joe Bush, George Ruppert, Dan Daniel (sportswriter), Bob Shawkey, and Joe DiMaggio. Interestingly, Babe Ruth was also invited to this dinner but his illness prevented him from attending, hence the absence of his signature. This piece was originally obtained in the early 1980s from Joe Bush's family and is the first "Silver Anniversary" dinner invitation that we have ever seen. All of the signatures have been scripted in blue ink, with the exception of Shawkey (black ink). The signatures of Jones, and Hoyt are partially faded, otherwise all of the signatures grade "9/10" overall. This is a very interesting, substantial, and unique keepsake relating to "The House That Ruth Built." The invitation, which unfolds into a four-quadrant sheet (8 x 10.25 inches, unfolded), displays light tears along the fold lines, minor creases, and a few small areas of light discoloration. In Very Good condition overall. Matted and framed together with a color copy of the front of the invitation (so both sides can be seen) to total dimensions of 20.25 x 16.5 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,058
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