1928 “Bustin’ Babes and Larrupin’ Lou’s” Broadside

Sold For: $23,500

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1275

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Addendum: Please note that the first sentence in the catalog description contains a typo. This broadside promotes a game on October 25, 1928, not October 28th. (the correct date is clearly visible on the piece itself). Also, this broadside is related to the signed Ruth/Gehrig photo offered in Lot 1276, which was signed on the very day of this game in Dayton, Ohio! Exceedingly rare broadside heralding the arrival of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in Dayton, Ohio, on October 25, 1928, during the legendary Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lou's barnstorming tour. The poster features large portrait images of Ruth and Gehrig, who are billed as "Baseball's Greatest Attractions," and invites fans to "See the Emperor of Swat and the Crown Prince in Nine Innings of Baseball." This broadside dates from the second of the two famous postseason barnstorming tours made by Ruth and Gehrig during the years 1927 and 1928. One of the novel aspects of this famous tour was that Ruth and Gehrig were the only two players traveling to each town. Their respective teams at each venue were made up of local players. In Dayton, Ruth 's Bustin' Babes team was comprised of players from Dayton's amateur champion Thompson Yellow Jackets, while Gehrig's Larrupin' Lou's recruited the town's semipro champions, the McCall's. Of course, nobody actually cared about the outcome of the game: what the fans came to see were Ruth, Gehrig, and home runs. Nobody knew that better than Ruth and as the tour arrived in Dayton he voiced his concern about the balls the locals were using in an interview with Dayton Daily News sportswriter Carl Finke: “Say Finke, can you find out what kind of baseballs they are going to use in today’s game? Over in Columbus they had 50-cent balls that you couldn’t hit hard. And then the fans were disappointed because Lou and myself didn’t hit any home runs. The fans want to see us knock them out of the lot and they are disappointed when we fail. If they use cheap balls today I just won’t play.” It has not been reported what balls were eventually used in the game, but they were obviously to Gehrig's liking. The fabled "Iron Horse" put on a spectacular show for the fans that afternoon by belting four home runs, with one of them, to dead center, said to be the longest ever hit at North Side Field. Ruth, too, did not disappoint the fans, as his eighth inning grand slam was the capper to what was certainly a memorable day at the ballpark for the Dayton faithful. The broadside (22 x 14 inches) printed on heavy paper stock, is moderately toned, with a few areas of dark discoloration and a small abrasion in the lower left corner. Some minor restoration is also apparent in repair of a few tears. Despite the minor flaws, which are modest given its age and fragile nature, the piece still displays exceptionally well. In Very Good condition overall. Only a scant few broadsides from the famous Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lou's barnstorming tour survive, and they are seldom offered at public sale. This is not only the first we have handled in nearly ten years but one of the most attractive as well, especially given the large portrait images of the two sluggers. Museum-caliber. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 26.25 x 18 inches. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+.
SOLD FOR $23,500

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