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Lot # 957 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1947 Christy Walsh Jr. 21st Birthday Presentation Display - Signed By Babe Ruth

Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $2,937.50

Babe Ruth was the most prolific signer in baseball history, so it's not surprising that his signature should turn up on a large number of unique items. Offered here is one such piece, incredibly one that was created by famed cartoonist Robert "Believe It or Not" Ripley, that is highlighted by an exceptionally large and bold signature of Ruth. In fact, this might be the single largest Babe Ruth signature we have ever seen. The framed display piece celebrates the 21st birthday of Christy Walsh Jr., whose father, Christy Walsh, was Ruth's business agent. The text of the piece, executed in the familiar style of a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" cartoon, reads "Congratulations and Best Wishes Christy Jr. - Believe It or Not You Were Born in New York 21 Years Ago Today - 1926-April 23-1947" and has been signed in black fountain pen by Ripley. The display features twenty-five snapshot photos of Christy Walsh Jr. in various stages of life, a few of which picture him with prominent celebrities, and has been signed in black fountain pen by sixteen friends of the family, the most prominent being Babe Ruth. Ruth's signature appears at the bottom of the piece and is particularly notable for both its size and strength. Measuring over 3.5 inches in length, the signature grades a perfect "10" and contrasts perfectly against the cream-colored surface. This is a Babe Ruth signature which can be seen across the room, as intended! An additional interesting aspect of the Ruth signature is that fact that for this special display piece Ruth chose to bracket the "Babe" portion of his signature in parenthesis. Ruth generally stopped signing his name in that manner sometime around 1929 and it is interesting that he returned to that style here for this special item in 1947. This is probably because he was signing this piece for display, and signing very prominently front and center. Also included are the signatures of famous sportswriter "Bugs" Baer and Eleanor Gehrig (who has added "Mrs. Lou" in parentheses below her signature). Among the original snapshots featured in the montage is one of Christy Jr. posing with Ruth and Gehrig, and another of him posing with Knute Rockne and Pop Warner in 1928. The photos are of various sizes, ranging from 2 x 4 inches to 3 x 4 inches, and the piece (17.5 x 22 inches), as a whole, is in spectacular Excellent to Mint condition. The display remains housed in its original vintage matting and frame, which measures 22.5 x 26.5 inches. This is an exceptionally attractive and interesting display piece featuring one of the finest Babe Ruth signature examples imaginable. This is a very unique piece, with a special connection to Ruth. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,937.50


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