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Lot # 677 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Babe Ruth and Babe Zaharias (Didrikson) Signed Baseballs in Framed Display

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $4,700.00

The signatures of the two greatest "Babes" in sports history, Babe Ruth and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, are featured, respectively, on two baseballs housed within this spectacular shadowbox wall display. Babe Ruth's blue fountain-pen signature (grading "6") is scripted upon the the sweet spot of what appears to be a 1929 New York Yankees team ball. Six other either blue or black ink signatures (averaging "6/7") are visible on the lightly soiled red-and-black stitched ball including Leo Durocher, Gene Robertson, Johnny Grabowski, Sammy Byrd, and Bots Nekola. The sixth signature is illegible. Babe Zaharias' signature, "Babe D. Zaharias," appears in black ink ("7/8") on the sweet spot of a moderately toned and lightly scuffed ball. The Zaharias ball is believed to be single-signed; however, due to the method of its display, only half the ball is visible. A portion of a printed notation is visible on a side panel, but it does not appear to be a signature. Mounted above the two signed balls is a large 16 x 15-inch black-and-white photo of Babe Didrikson posing together with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The photo pictures the trio at one of the stops on the famous "Bustin' Babes" and "Larrupin' Lou's" postseason barnstorming tour in either 1927 or 1928. A 1934 Goudey baseball card of Lou Gehrig (Fr-Gd), mounted between the two baseballs, completes the attractive display. Although only a teenager at the time of the photo, Didrikson was already known as one of the top female athletes in the country. As a young girl, Didrikson excelled at a number of sports, including volleyball, tennis, baseball, basketball, and swimming. It was in her youth that she acquired the nickname, "Babe," after her hero, Babe Ruth, for her hitting prowess on the ball field. Didrikson achieved early fame as a basketball star and in 1932 made national headlines by winning two gold medals for track and field at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In the mid 1930s she focused her talents on golf and quickly became the top female player in the country. It was on the golf course, in 1938, that she met professional wrestler George Zaharias, and they married one year later. Today, she is widely regarded as the greatest female athlete in history and in 1950, six years before her death, she was named Woman Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century by the Associated Press. This is an extremely substantial and highly decorative wall piece commemorating the sports careers of the greatest male and female sports stars of the twentieth century. The primary components, of course, have tremendous value individually, but framed together make for a museum-caliber display. Total dimensions: 30.5 x 36.5 x 4 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000+. SOLD FOR $4,700.00


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