Offered here is an exceptional Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed baseball, with outstanding provenance, dating to the famous "Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lous" barnstorming tours of 1927 and 1928. In each of those years the tour made a stop in Sioux City, Iowa, and it was there that our consignor's grandfather, Sylvester Cusack, procured this ball for his young son Raymond (our consignor's father). The ball has been in the possession of the family since that time and is entirely new to the organized collecting world! Both players have personally inscribed the official American League (Johnson) ball to Raymond in blue fountain pen. Ruth has penned the inscription "To Raymond Cusack/From" on the west panel, followed by his signature (grading "5") across the sweet spot. Gehrig's inscription and signature ("grading "6/7") both appear on the north panel: "To Ray Cusack/from/Lou Gehrig." As previously noted, the "Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lous" barnstorming tour made stops in Sioux City in the fall of both 1927 and 1928; however, the fact that Ban Johnson's facsimile signature appears on the ball most likely dates it to 1927. (Johnson resigned as president of the American League after the 1927 season and while his name probably appeared on American League balls at the start of the 1928 season, it was probably replaced by that of new league president Ernest Barnard by the fall of 1928.) Accompanying the ball is a letter from our consignor in which she details its history. In full: To Whom It May Concern: This baseball was acquired by my grandfather, Sylvester F. Cusack, during the late 1920's "barnstorming" tour featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The game was played at the Sioux City Stockyards Park in Iowa. My grandfather, an active member of the stockyards, and probable co-sponsor of the event, had the ball autographed to his young son, Raymond Cusack, our father. My father went on to graduate from Georgetown University, Washington DC, and earned the Purple Heart, and two Bronze Stars, during WWII. He was in the 3rd landing at Omaha Beach. Throughout his life's journey, he carried this ball with him and passed it on to his children. It is now time to pass on this historic ball along with its intricate connection to these two great Baseball Heroes and American Icons.
Also accompanying the ball is a printout of a an IAGen Web Special Project on Iowa History in which a biography of Sylvester Cusack is provided in a section profiling prominent citizens between the years 1804 and 1926. Any and all balls signed by Ruth and Gehrig are special. However, an example such as this dating from 1927, the greatest season in Yankees history, and signed by the pair during their famous postseason barnstorming tour, not to mention its impeccable provenance, make it one of the most interesting and noteworthy Ruth/Gehrig balls we have offered. The red-and-blue stitched ball is lightly toned and displays a number of moderate abrasions throughout (the young recipient obviously played with it as a child), some of which touch upon, but do not significantly affect, the signatures. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain legible. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,851
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