Thursday, October 12, 2006

eBay Pick-Up: 1962 Topps Venezuelan Babe Ruth Coaching the Dodgers

Did you know that the "Sultan of Swat" once coached for the Dodgers? This past weekend I picked up a recent eBay win. It's a 1962 Topps Venezuelan card of "The Babe" coaching for the Dodgers during the 1938 Baseball season. These particular cards are very rare. Venezuelan issues are very difficult to come by in any condition, let alone a condition that does not include glue residue on the back. Venezuelan card collectors almost exclusively glued all of their cards into scrapbooks.

Wikipedia provides a brief synopsis of Ruth's Dodger career:
Retirement was often unsettling for Ruth. He had more than enough money, but he missed the game. He spent much time on the golf course, dabbled in a few other things, but his heart was set on managing a big league club. He would never be given the chance. The closest Ruth ever came to managing was when Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Larry MacPhail offered him a first base coaching job in June 1938. The Dodgers attendance was lagging, and MacPhail hired Ruth for the sole purpose of getting people to the ballpark. Ruth took the job, perhaps thinking he would have a chance to manage the Dodgers in the future, but MacPhail had clearly stated to Ruth that Leo Durocher was being groomed to take over the managerial reigns of the Dodgers for next season. Ruth never got along with Durocher, and he quit at the end of the season. The coaching position was the last time Ruth would have a job in major league baseball.

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