Auction Item Details

Lot 263



Lot Number: 263

Description: Fine Babe Ruth 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers road uniform. Towards the tail end of his epic career with the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth's determination to become a major league manager prompted him to turn down an offer from the organization to manage their top minor league team, the Newark Bears. Instead, in the spring of 1935, he joined the worst team in the National League, the Boston Braves, as an "assistant manager" and active player, lured by unsubstantiated overtures that he might become their manager in the next season. As a player he was all but finished; however, on May 25, 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Ruth showed one last glimpse of his former greatness. That afternoon, he hit three home runs; the last one was the first ball ever to be hit completely out of that park. As the Pirates players simply stood and watched it disappear behind the stands, the crowd of 10,000 let loose a mighty roar as the old slugger hobbled around the bases. When he rounded third, the pitcher, Guy Bush, tipped his cap to the Babe, who smiled and saluted back. It was the last home run he would ever hit, number 714. At that point in baseball history, no other player had ever hit even half as many. It was a record that would stand for nearly four decades. A week later, Ruth announced his retirement from baseball, leaving behind the game he had almost single handedly restored to glory, with enduring hope that someday he’d be called upon to return as a big league manager. The closest Babe Ruth ever came to realizing his managerial dream came three years later when he returned to New York as a coach with the Dodgers in 1938. Ruth’s hope was renewed briefly, as he proudly donned this Brooklyn uniform, hoping to parlay the position into something bigger. During his first and only return to Major League baseball after his official retirement in 1935, Ruth was a tremendous drawing card for the talent starved Dodgers, and the Brooklyn front office made sure he kept a very high profile. Not only was Ruth appointed first base coach, (where the fans would be sure to see him throughout the entire game), but he was also ordered to take pre-game batting practice with the club so the fans could once again witness the “Sultan of Swat” hitting a few balls out of the park. In spite of the “side show” atmosphere, Ruth clung to hope. But when the club’s managerial post opened the next year Leo Durocher was appointed the job, and Ruth wasn’t re-hired. He hung up his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform after one season. This would be the last baseball uniform he would ever wear as a professional. From the day Ruth last removed it until the day he died, he waited and waited for a call from some team, any team, to become a major league manager. It was a call that would never come. Ruth’s last major league road uniform, from his lone season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938, consists of his heavy grey flannel Spalding jersey and matching pants, both of which feature Ruth's full name in chain stitch near the manufacturers tagging. The shirt retains its blue Dodgers team name across the front, and Ruth's uniform number "35" on the back. Small "38" year designation is chain stitched on the back of the interior tail, which also retains custom lacing, which allowed Ruth to keep his shirt neatly tucked into his pants. The left sleeve displays its original 1939 World's Fair patch. The jersey remains in completely original condition exhibiting light to moderate use and wash wear appropriate for Ruth's position as first base coach. The offered Babe Ruth uniform numbers as one of only a handful of surviving exemplars, all of which rank at the pinnacle of the most elite historical baseball collections. Includes LOAs from Hunt Auctions and MEARS Authentication (Graded A10): EX

Estimated Price: ($150,000.00-$200,000.00)

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