News-Antique.com - Nov 05,2008 - Mastro Auctions, the world’s leading Sports and Americana auction house, is announcing that it will be offering phenomenal Babe Ruth items acquired by legendary restaurateur, Jimmy Donohue. The historically significant items will be auctioned in several of Mastro Auctions’ upcoming sales.
For more than half a century, Jimmy Donohue’s restaurants were well-known eating establishments for New Jersey and New York VIPs. From a small tavern restaurant located at the Black Sea Hotel in New Jersey to the larger-than-life Donohue’s “A Fine Jersey Eating Place” in nearby Clifton, New Jersey, Donohue provided secluded, welcome retreats for the area’s most well-known residents. As a result, Donohue became fast friends with many of his famous patrons. One of the most notable and enduring bonds was with Babe Ruth.
Ruth’s frequent visits to Donohue’s restaurants began in his early Yankees days and ended just five days before the Sultan of Swat’s death. Proof of Ruth and Donohue’s genuine friendship is found in published reports, the private “King’s Room” that Donohue kept in reserve for Ruth and the many personalized items given to Donohue by Ruth, which have now been entrusted to Mastro Auctions for sale.
Doug Allen, COO and president of Mastro Auctions says the family of Jimmy Donohue contacted him after seeing the heavy media coverage regarding the August sale of the record-breaking Honus Wagner card. “They wanted to make sure the prized possessions were in good hands and would be given the attention they deserved,” says Allen. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to bring these fresh pieces to the collecting public.”
Allen says that the items in the collection will be offered for sale in several upcoming Mastro Auctions’ events. “Fortunately, we have a diverse auction platform that serves the overall collection well by allowing individual pieces to placed in the type of sale where it will generate the best result,” says Allen. Consequently, Allen says that some of the items will show up at Mastro Auctions’ Live “Legends” sale in New York, others in the company’s December and April Premier events and the balance in an upcoming Classic Collector sale.
A sampling of the jaw-dropping highlights from the Babe Ruth collection are:
Mickey Mantle 1951 Hillerich & Bradsby Game Used Bat – Only Ordered In His Rookie Season – PSA 9
Conclusively, 1951 proved to be a watershed season in the annals of the Yankees mystique. It was during the course of that tumultuous 1951 season that Mickey ordered this bat: an "L16" Hillerich & Bradsby signature model weapon. 1951 is the only year Mantle would order this model lumber. The "L16" engraving found at the knob attests to the bat's use during Mickey's rookie year, the item turned to the specifications of bats ordered by Mantle on April 20, 1951. This potent 35", 35 oz. monster is composed of top grade white ash with all of the stampings deep and pronounced. Uncracked, the item exhibits signs of excellent use. Minimum bid $25,000.