Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus to Sell Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards on June 10, 2005 On Friday, June 10th, Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus (SCP) will offer more than 350 lots of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards, spanning the history of baseball, basketball, football, boxing, tenn
this contract selling Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees on December 26, 1919, for $100,000 to New York owner Jacob Ruppert. The deal wasn't announced until January, when Ruth found out about the trade himself ten days later.
On January 5, 1920, Boston Globe journalist John Hallahan wrote: "Boston's greatest baseball player has been cast adrift." He continued, "George H. Ruth, the middle initial apparently standing for 'Hercules,' maker of home runs and the most colorful star in the game today, became the property of the New York Yankees yesterday afternoon." The sale of Ruth to the Yankees changed the sports world forever. Ruth, baseball's first great slugger and the most legendary athlete of his time, captivated the public and reignited America's love affair with baseball.
The Yankees, who had never won the World Series prior to acquiring Ruth, went on to win a record 26 World Championships and 39 pennants, an unparalleled feat, and have become the preeminent sports team in the world. Conversely, the Red Sox had never won a World Series since their sale of Babe Ruth until last year, widely attributed to "The Curse of the Bambino," their fate for dealing away baseball's greatest player.
Signed by both Frazee and Ruppert, this five-page contract is the most significant document in sports history. It is being offered by Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein and is expected to bring more than half a million dollars. Mr. Feinstein, speaking on behalf of the Feinstein Foundation, said: "The funds raised from the sale, less taxes, will go towards our annual effort to raise $1 million to help fight hunger. The Foundation has raised over $250 million for over 2,000 agencies throughout the country in the past eight years, and we will continue to raise money until we reach the $1 billion mark. The proceeds will feed a tremendous number of people."
Babe Ruth's 1920 Signed Game Used Bat
Babe Ruth's Signed Game-Used Bat from his first season as a New York Yankee in 1920, used in a face-off between the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, will also highlight the sale. Signed by Ruth to Mayor William "Big Bill" Thompson of Chicago on September 17, 1920, it is one of only a handful of game-used bats signed by Ruth and is estimated to sell for $150/200,000. Thompson, a public figure himself and one of Chicago's most eccentric and infamous mayors, was known for his alleged involvement with organized crime and his rumored ties to notorious gangster Al Capone.
Other Baseball Memorabilia
Other important baseball memorabilia includes the last Home Plate used in the historic Polo Grounds (est. $15/20,000), as well as a fine collection of New York Giants Team signed baseballs including examples from 1921 (est. $8/12,000), 1922 (est. $8/12,000), and 1933 (est. $6/8,000), among others. A number of manuscripts will also be on offer, among them a Babe Ruth handwritten letter from Boston Globe writer Jim O'Leary's scrapbook, written in 1923 to thank him for