December 2017
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/8/2017
Aside from his mammoth accomplishments on the baseball diamond, what made Babe Ruth one of the most iconic personalities in American history was the devotion he showed toward his adoring fans. Always willing to sign a photo or baseball with a "To My Pal" inscription upon request, "The Babe" was truly a man of the people. While Ruth signatures are relatively common considering his short life span, the number of surviving handwritten letters from Ruth can be counted on one hand. As was customary for the time, most of "The Babe's" written correspondence came in the form of typed letters that were signed by Ruth. A fully written letter was generally reserved for personal messages, either a family member or a "thank you" note. Such is the case with this handwritten Babe Ruth letter, fresh to the hobby and the finest example known to exist. The letter was written on Sept. 26, 1923, the year Babe Ruth won the American League MVP award with a league-leading 41 round-trippers and 130 RBI, narrowing missing the triple crown as his hefty .393 batting average was eclipsed only by Harry Heilmann (.403). After being discontinued in 1914, the MVP award was re-instated as the "League Awards" in 1922, skipping over three consecutive seasons where Ruth led the league in home runs and runs batted in. According to the rules of the award, a player could only receive recognition once, so despite Ruth's record shattering feats in subsequent years, including home run titles in 6 of the 7 years from 1924-1930 and his legendary 60 homer season of 1927, he was ineligible to win the award again until the rule was changed in 1931, when Ruth was 36 years old. Though he was still a superior player when once again eligible, he no longer dominated the league as he did in the past and finished no higher than 5th in the balloting from that point on. His overall body of work, under different voting rules, could easily have netted him 8 to 10 American League MVP awards but the 1923 MVP award would be Babe's only such honor, and this letter shows that he was truly grateful for the recognition. The letter is addressed to Harry Neily, one of the best known sportswriters of his day with the Chicago American who voted for Ruth to win the award. The content contradicts most portrayals of "The Sultan of Swat" as an immature man-child that never strayed from his incorrigible childhood, instead presenting the legendary Babe Ruth as a thoughtful and humble soul, stating "It is certainly a great honor the writers have given me and I want to thank you for voting. There were a lot of reasons why is (sic) was an especially hard job but I'm going to keep right on trying, I don't want anybody to say your vote was a mistake. Sincerely, Babe Ruth." Written on Babe Ruth's personal stationery, the bold and even quality of the black ink is unparalleled and confirmed by PSA/DNA with a well-deserved grade of MINT 9. A fantastic piece of Americana worthy of display in Cooperstown, this world-class item is simply the finest example ever discovered! Full LOA from PSA/DNA.
1923 Babe Ruth Signed Full Letter With Wonderful Baseball Content Written In His Own Hand PSA/DNA 9 MINT, The Finest Ruth Handwritten Letter in The Hobby
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $9,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $87,684.00
Number Bids:24
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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