Heartland March 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/9/2020

“In An Era Of Conspicuous Consumption, There Was No More Conspicuous Consumer Than Babe Ruth.” Widely attributed quote

To own a Babe Ruth autograph is to own a small part of the world’s greatest superstar. Oscar Wilde claimed to be the world’s first true superstar, but while Wilde was indeed bigger than life, no one is bigger, no one has even approached Babe Ruth in terms of global status and relevance. Ruth will never be replaced atop the mountain. Everyone else is merely playing for second place. And that’’s the way Ruth would have liked it. Over our many decades in the sports memorabilia world, never have we seen a bolder, more dominant, more well-preserved example of George Herman Ruth’s signature than this one. And we’re exceptionally proud to offer it in this auction.

The Ultimate Gem Mint Babe Ruth Autograph

This 4” x 6” Type I photo of Babe Ruth, taken during the fabled 1934 All-American Baseball Tour of Japan, has lived its life carefully preserved and safe from light, human hands, and exposure to the world. The result is a relic which presents itself as well as it did when it was developed, printed and autographed 86 years ago. Ruth’s signature glows with the type of clear, bold, beautiful strokes that can only be provided by the hardened nib of a vintage fountain pen. The Babe’s autograph explodes from the image in much the same fashion his homeruns exploded off his bat. While signatures of other players may be rarer than Ruth’s, no signature is more coveted. Likewise, no advanced or elite collection is complete without a stellar Ruth autograph. GEM MINT 10 examples of Ruth’s signature are uncommon because they were considered such treasures and often displayed publicly in highly visible locations by fans and non-fans alike. Sunlight, handling and poor display conditions usually result in fading and damage to signed Ruth photos. But not this example. To say the photo and signature are pristine are true understatements.

The Games Behind The Games: Spy Games And A World Nearing War.

While the All American Baseball Tour was indeed an act of good will that led to the formation of the Japanese Major Leagues and brought our countries closer together, war was in the air in 1934. Hostilities between Japan and the US were omnipresent. The politics of two nations on a collision course were hidden behind the pomp and circumstance of the tour, but both sides were carefully watching the other. Jimmie Foxx and his wife Helen brought their home movie camera and filmed parades, events, every day scenes and of course snippets of the games to bring back to America. At the same time, Moe Berg mimicked Foxx and his wife, taking movies with an elaborate Bell & Howell home movie camera that little to do with the tour and everything to do with key Japanese locations that provided military intelligence to the government. The Japanese never caught on to Berg, who played the part of travelling ball player and tourist to perfection. Ironically, the Japanese did a bit of spying of their own. During the day, when players and their wives were traveling, sightseeing, shopping, and even playing baseball, Japanese intelligence officials carefully searched the hotel rooms and luggage of the big leaguers and their wives, looking for evidence of espionage and state sponsored tampering with Japanese businessmen, politicians, and military types. The scene was far from a moment in a James Bond film, but neither side fully trusted the other, making for some great acting on the part of Berg and the Japanese organizers.

A True Investment Grade Bit Of History

Of utmost significance, the captivating PSA Gem Mint 10 autograph was scripted on a original PSA Type 1 postcard-sized photo, taken by a prestige Japanese local photographer during these revered “Tour Of Japan” games.   His work from that era was highly publicized, and the lower right quadrant reveals the photographer’s critical seal affixed to a majority of these 1934 Tour of Japan images. 

To own anything graded GEM MINT 10 that relates to Babe Ruth is uncommon. For the item to be not only an unusual and rare photo, but to carry one of the finest Ruth signatures on record makes the item a true investment. Babe Ruth defies time and remains the greatest icon in all sports if not the entire world. To be “The Babe Ruth” of anything, a profession, a production, truly anything on Earth, means to be the greatest of all time. Because Ruth transcends sport and culture, the value of one of the finest Babe Ruth signatures cannot be underestimated. Whether for your collection or your portfolio, this grand representation should not be overlooked by the serious collector nor the serious investor. This photo is a true 1 of 1, which means the opportunity is to be taken seriously.

Magnificent 1934 Babe Ruth Autographed Type 1  Photo   Autograph Grade PSA/DNA 10 GEM MINT One of the Finest Ruth Autographs in the Hobby!
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Minimum Bid: $20,000.00
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Auction closed on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
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