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Lot # 475 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Babe Ruth and Leo Durocher Signed Baseball

Starting Bid - $4,000.00, Sold For - $8,120.00

Official National League (Frick) baseball signed by legends Babe Ruth and Leo Durocher in blue fountain pen. Ruth's signature magnificently graces the sweet spot. Durocher has signed on the panel directly underneath. Both signatures grade a solid "8" on a scale of "1" to "10." There is a significant connection between Ruth and Durocher. They were not just Yankee teammates (1928-1929), but roommates as well. According to Tiger pitcher Elden Auker's memoirs (Sleeper Cars and Flannel Uniforms, Triumph Books, 2001): "Because of Ruth's penchant for belching and passing gas," Auker wrote, "no regulars wanted to room with him on the road. So the team always had a young player room with him. Durocher was Ruth's roommate. He seemed to be dealing well with Ruth's personal habits, but Ruth and some teammates started to notice that money and valuables were missing. Suspicious, Ruth marked five $100 bills. He later found them, plus his pocket watch, in Durocher's bag. He woke Durocher and began beating him until hotel security arrived. Nothing ever appeared in the newspapers. "In those days, when something like that happened, everyone did their best to keep it out of the newspapers," Auker said. "It wasn't like it is today. They protected the guys then. That's why it never got out. The ballplayers knew about it and the main sportswriters knew about it, but they didn't write about it." The Yankees released Durocher. According to Auker, Durocher was blackballed from the American League. "It's a fact, I can tell you that," Auker said. "There's no baloney about it. It happened." It was well known that Ruth was intensely disliked by Durocher following this incident, and the feeling was apparently mutual, as Ruth nicknamed Durocher "The All-American Out." Durocher's abrasive personality did not endear him to the Yankee management or his teammates, and his habit of passing bad checks to finance his expensive tastes in clothes and nightlife did not help. Durocher was released by the Yankees immediately following the 1929 season. Ruth and Durocher's paths crossed again when Ruth served as coach with the Dodgers in 1938, the same year in which Durocher joined the club as Brooklyn's starting shortstop. Ruth desperately wanted to be a Major League manager, and was willing to coach to help secure this goal. It was the greatest disappointment of his career that he was passed over for the job years earlier by the Yankees. When Burleigh Grimes stepped down as Brooklyn's manager following the 1938 season, Ruth, unfortunately, was again passed over. The Brooklyn manager's job went to... Durocher. Ruth resigned as Brooklyn coach following the 1938 season. In light of these stories, it is worth noting that Durocher, of course, is best remembered for his famous quote "Nice guys finish last." This is an amazing and very likely unique ball signed by Babe Ruth and his nemesis, fellow Hall of Famer Leo Durocher. The ball is ideally signed so that both signatures can be displayed at the same time. This is an extremely attractive high-quality Ruth signed baseball, with a fascinating added dimension of interest, and with an exceptionally impressive display value. The ball is in Excellent to Mint condition, with all manufacturer stampings extremely bold and clear. This ball was signed in the 1940s. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $4,000. Estimate $8,000/$12,000. SOLD FOR $8,120.00


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