Summer Games 2005
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This lot is closed. Bidding ended on 6/29/2005.
While the list of possible anecdotes is endless, it is impossible to accurately portray on paper the legend that is Babe Ruth. The ultimate embodiment of the American dream, this saloon keeper's son went from reform school to icon of the first order and in the process changed forever our national pastime. A short recap of the 1932 season, the year to which this uniform dates, is surely in order. Playing in 133 games of the 1932 season, Ruth compiled an impressive .341 batting average and for the eleventh time in his career surpassed the 40 home mark. He placed in the highest percentiles of no fewer than ten prominent statistical categories including homeruns, batting average, runs, on base percentage, and total bases. For the seventh time as a member of the New York Yankees he took the team to the World Series and summarily led them to a World Championship. His batting average of .333 in that Fall Classic can only be overshadowed by the legendary "called shot" in Game 3. After having already hit a home run earlier in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, Ruth came to the plate in the fifth inning to face Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. Amidst the jeers of the crowd and a count of two and two, Ruth allegedly stepped out of the batter's box and pointed to the centerfield stands, "calling his shot." On the next pitch, Ruth slammed a home run into the bleachers, directly above the spot he had purportedly indicated. The world may never know if he really called his shot, but the legend remains one of the most famous moments in baseball history during the game's "golden age." The uniform offered herein represents the only completely original, unaltered example of a Ruth jersey ever brought to public auction. Originally obtained 15 years ago by one of the founding partners of Grey Flannel who accompanied an older lady on the west coast of Florida to a safety deposit box where it had been stored for years. An avid golfer, Ruth spent much time on the links and this uniform was given by the Babe to this lady's father after losing a round of golf to him. This jersey will come with several LOAs. Every expert is in agreement that this jersey is authentic and 100% original in every respect. The majority of these experts deem this to be the "called shot" jersey. Not one of these experts can definitively say that it is not Babe Ruth's 1932 World Series jersey. An informative package detailing our photographic research and empirical evidence is available to qualified bidders and the media upon request. Mark Okkonen, author of the definitive book on baseball uniforms, states, "Based on the photo evidence you provided, I have every reason to believe the Babe Ruth road jersey in your possession does indeed represent the 1932 season and had to have been worn by the Bambino when he connected with his famous "called shot" home run in the 1932 World Series at Chicago. To the best of my knowledge the team did not issue a second set of road uniforms and the very subtle differences in the placement and configuration of the "NEW YORK" letters match the photographs provided. If I were in a position to purchase this item with the provenance claimed for it I would not hesitate a minute. Although there appears to be no such thing as 100% proof, it certainly seems impossible that anyone could prove this was not the jersey worn on this historic occasion based on the photos you have found to support this claim. It looks like you have a "slam dunk" on this one!" Based on a most stringent examination of photographic evidence, the jersey appears to replicate the unique idiosyncrasies of all known 1932 road jerseys. The position of "New York" across the front of this Ruthian-sized road jersey matches the known 1932 positioning. Group and individual photos of the 1932 Yankees show the same positioning of the "New York" block letters in relation to the buttons. The spacing and the style of the letters is consistent across all the 1932 road jerseys. Further, the curvature of the "W," the skew of the "E" and the positioning of the "Y" on this jersey in most experts' opinions matches known photos of Ruth in the 1932 World Series, and differs from other examples of known Yankee road jerseys. In the collar is the player name "Ruth G.H." in red chain stitch which also appears to match a known 1932 home Ruth jersey. Also present is the "A.G. Spalding" manufacturer's label. Across the front of the jersey is the team name "New York" and on the back is a matching player number "3." Both the letters and numbers are done in blue felt. A small sewing imperfection can be found on the back number, only mentioned to avoid inaccuracy. In the back tail is remnant of the so-called "fat strap" used by Ruth to insure that the jersey remained tucked in, necessitated by his girth at that point. It was a long length of material that Ruth would draw up between his legs and tie into two custom buttonholes, which are present at front bottom. There is a small hole on the left rear shoulder which occurred a few years ago during the handling of the jersey. The flannel shows perfectly fitting use throughout and is in a remarkable state of preservation.
1932 Babe Ruth New York Yankees Game-Used Road Flannel Jersey Attributed To the "Called Shot" in the World Series
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Minimum Bid: $400,000
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Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Wednesday, June 29, 2005.
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