1940 Babe Ruth Cut Signature in Scrapbook

Sold For: $2,938

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1023

Item Year: 1940

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Small 3 x 2-inch card, signed by Babe Ruth in blue fountain pen. Ruth's signature is boldly scripted, grading "9/10," but is slightly affected by a very minor surface abrasion that touches upon three of letters in "Ruth." The card, which is affixed to a page within a vintage autograph album by means of four small strips of clear tape (yellowed with age) on the front, displays an area of surface paper loss in the lower left corner and light wear. One of the interesting aspects of this card is that is identical in size to a standard business card, but it is blank on each side. We have been told, from no less an authority then Barry Halper, that after Ruth retired he often carried a number of these small pre-signed cards in his pocket when he went out. He did so because if he were in a rush and a fan stopped him for an autograph (which was usually the case wherever he went) he could just hand out one of these cards to save time. The name of the original owner ("Russell Martin") and additional notes are written on the interior front cover and first page of the album, as is the date ("1940"). A notation below his name on the first page reads "First autograph: by Paul Waner on July 15, 1940." Unfortunately, the Paul Waner autograph that was once featured in this book has been removed (tape remnants are still visible on that now blank page), and all of the pages are blank except for two (each is signed "yearbook" style by two of Martin's friends). The Ruth autographed card, of course, could also easily be removed, but is offered here in the album exactly as it has survived since 1940. The leather-bound autograph book (6 x 4.75 inches) is in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,938

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