Lot 201. David Blumenthal Signed Photo of Babe Ruth’s 1948 Farewell to Yankee Stadium. On June 13, 1948, Ruth made a final appearance at the house he built as fans recognized his baseball achievements one more time and the New York Yankees retired his uniform number. The event coincided with the 25th anniversary of Yankee Stadium. Thin and frail, Ruth spoke a few words in acknowledgement. For his photo of Ruth that day, “New York Herald Tribune” photographer Nat Fein received a Pulitzer Prize. David Blumenthal was the Yankees’ team photographer. His photo, displayed in the Hall of Fame, provides a different perspective that captures the sadness and significance of the day equally well. Blumenthal’s signature is in gold on an 11” x 17” black & white print double-matted and framed to 16.5” x 22.5”. Blumenthal was a friend of Ruth and spoke with him on that June day. Years later, in an ESPN interview, he reported the disappointment Ruth felt as a result of the way the Yankees treated him after he retired from playing. He quoted Ruth as saying, “I built this house for them and they never repaid me for it.” Ruth died at the age of 53, two months and three days after his Yankee Stadium farewell. Blumenthal passed away in 1999. He also was a photographer for the New York Jets and Mets.
Winning Bid $83
Lot 202. 12 Photographs from Babe Ruth’s Life and Career. Eight wire photos and four reproductions make up this collection. The wire photos are listed first. In the earliest, from 1924, Ruth is shown saluting as a member of the New York National Guard. From International Newsreel, the photo has been trimmed to 4.25” x 6.5”. Ex-m. A second International Newsreel photo, from 1929, reproduces Ruth’s Certificate of Marriage to Helen Woodford in 1914. They separated in 1925, and she died in a fire in 1929. Vg-ex, 6” x 8”. In an 8” x 11” AP wire photo from 1942, Ruth signs autographs prior to a batting exhibition against Walter Johnson. Two International News wire photos show Ruth in declining health in 1947. Each is approximately 8” x 10” and includes the caption, either printed on the front or attached to the back. In a Sonnee Gottlieb photo, Ruth is cheered by newspaper editors at a luncheon in New York’s Waldorf Astoria. G+, two heavy creases and some emulsion cracking. In the second photo, Ruth is pictured smoking a cigar in the stands at Yankee Stadium. Vg, better appearance, light emulsion cracking. Ruth’s second wife, Claire, is the subject of three wire photos by either AP or UPI: 1953, 8” x 10”, caption reports she has signed a contract for a radio-TV show on Ruth, vg-ex; 1961, 7” x 9.25”, shows her with a photo of Ruth, and the caption mentions “home-run hitting pace” of Mantle and Maris, ex-m; and 1968, 8.5” x 11”, she holds up a set of Babe Ruth silver commemorative coins presented to her at Yankee Stadium, facsimile transmission photo, vg-ex. The four reproduction photos, all 8” x 10” and nm or better, show: Ruth being attended to by a hair stylist on a movie set, probably “Home Run on the Keys” in 1936, nm-m; Ruth at “Babe Ruth Day” at Yankee Stadium, April 27, 1947, with Happy Chandler, Ford Frick and Mel Allen in the photo, vg-ex; Ruth apparently ready to sign an autograph at an event, with Claire seated next to him, nm-m; and Ruth boarding an American Airlines plane, nm-m. Also enclosed is a 1934 newspaper clipping, 4” x 7”, with images of Ruth, Joe Cronin and Bucky Harris. The caption has Clark Griffith, Washington Senators’ president, spiking rumors that Ruth would become the team’s next manager.
Winning Bid $75
Lot 203. Original 2-Reel 16mm Film of “The Babe Ruth Story” (1948) Starring William Bendix. While in his teens, Bendix met Ruth, who helped the future actor to lose his job! In the early 1920s, Bendix was the New York Yankees’ batboy. He claimed that he saw Ruth hit more than 100 home runs. Bendix was fired after meeting Ruth’s request for a large order of hot dogs and soda before a game. The Bambino ate so much that he was unable to play, and Bendix wound up unemployed. Besides being known for his role in “The Babe Ruth Story,” Bendix starred on TV in “The Life of Riley” and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in “Wake Island.” Filmed as Ruth’s health was declining, “The Babe Ruth Story” debuted several weeks after his passing. The black & white film plays well with excellent sound.
Minimum Bid $50
Lot 204. Babe Ruth 1948 Exacta Wrist Watch and 2 Newer Watches. The watch does not work, but it could be made operational, according to a watchmaker who has done work for us. At the winning bidder’s request and cost, we will have the watch repaired, or send it as it is. The “crystal” should be replaced so that the face of the watch, which is very slightly faded and otherwise free of problems, could be seen more clearly. The case shows substantial use and wear. The band seems to be original and ex-m. Both of the new men’s watches are mint in their original tin boxes. A 1994 watch by Waltham has a b&w photo of Ruth on the face and a facsimile autograph on the band. A “Life” Legends of Baseball watch has a color photo of Ruth on the face with his facsimile signature. The Advance Watch Co. produced it in 2004. Neither watch is working, but each presumably would with a new battery.
Winning Bid $138
Lot 206. Babe Ruth Publications and Books – “The Babe Ruth Story,” Esso Contest Newspapers, Etc. 1. The earliest of the 12 publications in this collection is the 1929 “Reach Playing Pointers,” which has Ruth on the cover. Inside the 30-page booklet are instructions on how to bat and to play various positions with photos of Ruth and other baseball stars. Ruth is the subject of a two-page center spread. The covers are detached, and the front cover has a chipped lower right corner. Vg. 2-7. An entry coupon and six newspapers for the 1934 Babe Ruth Prize Contest in cooperation with Esso, the U.S. gasoline company that became Exxon in 1972. The coupon has four pin holes at the top and otherwise is vg-ex. The tabloid newspapers, titled “Babe Ruth’s Newspaper,” each contain four pages of articles on Ruth and the contest. Lists of prize winners are presented. The newspapers are for Jan. 10, 17 and 31, Feb. 7 and March 17 (2). Each has been folded three times. Vg with a few tears, generally small, along the folds. 8. Four-page program for a 1947 American Legion Night event in Rochester, N.Y., featuring Ruth. Bill Dineen, Jimmie Walsh and Hooks Wiltsie were also on the program. No photos, vg, uncommon. 9. “Babe Ruth’s Big Book of Baseball,” 1935 edition, 64-page illustrated 5” x 7.5” softcover attributed to Ruth. From the Quaker Oats Co. and vg. 10. Rawlings’ July-Aug. 1948 “Roundup” magazine with Ruth surrounded by a group of boys on the cover. Inside, a page of the 24-page 5.5” x 8.5” publication is devoted to “The Great Bambino.” 11. “The Babe Ruth Story” by Ruth “As Told to Bob Considine,” 1948 stated first edition, magazine format, 96 pages, vg. Ruth provides a very readable first-person narrative of his life and his baseball career, primarily with the New York Yankees. His story begins in Baltimore with the sentence, “I was a bad kid.” 12. B. E. Callahan 1952 “Baseball’s Hall of Fame Records, Pictures of the Game’s Immortals” with Ruth on the front cover. Sixteen pages with drawings and biographical sketches of the Hall of Fame members, including Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner, inducted in 1952. Vg with a small tear on the front cover. The newspapers for Ruth’s contest are especially scarce.
Winning Bid $50
Lot 207. Babe Ruth Matted and Framed Photo Display. A sepia portrait and four action photos, each 4” x 6”, make up this display. These photos are recent prints of vintage images. They are double-matted and framed vertically to 9.5” x 39.25”.
Winning Bid $68