Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hunt Auctions: Ruth Game Used Dodger Uniform!

Hunt Auctions recently closed their annual Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory Auction last week with some incredible results. As you may know, Hunt seems to always have some of the best vintage memorabilia around. This years event was no different.

Babe Ruth, the greatest athlete to ever play the game, also wanted to be a coach. It was a dream he would seek out at the end of his playing days. Unfortunately, a lifetime of partying and carousing about did not endear him to Baseball owners.

Although, the Yankees did offer the managing position for their top minor league team, Newark Bears. He turned that down to be a player-coach for the Braves in 1935. After a year with Boston he officially retired. Offers stopped coming and his dream to be a manager seemed to just fade away. The greatest player of the game had effectively been shut out.

Then, in 1938, the talent and attendance starved Brooklyn Dodgers came calling. Babe Ruth would have one last chance to coach for the Dodgers.
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.
Below is a game used uniform worn by the "Sultan of Swat." It sold for $270,000.00.

Is Russel Martin your favorite Dodger? Well then, the below game used uniform is probably your favorite item. It come from the 2008 All-Star game and was worn during the Workout Day/Home Run Derby. It sold for a relatively affordable $250.00.

Baseball related advertising memorabilia from the 1940's can be very hard to come by. They can especially be difficult to find in good condition. Below is a 22 inch square advertising sign featuring Brooklyn Dodger Whit Wyatt hawking Chesterfield cigarettes. It sold for $850.00.

Below is an actual game-used bat of Jackie Robinson. I'll let the auction description speak for itself.
The history of the offered bat begins with Thomas Michael "Buckshot" Brown. From 1943 through 1945, Brooklyn Dodgers star shortstop Pee Wee Reese served in the U.S. military during World War II. In order to fill Reese's spot, the Dodgers called up Tommy Brown from the Minor Leagues as a utility infielder in 1944. Brown remained with the team until 1951 and became friendly with teammate Jackie Robinson during that time. According to family history, when Brown was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1951, Robinson presented the offered bat to Brown indicating to him that, "...it was his lucky bat and he wanted him to have it." The bat has remained in the Brown family since that time until its current offering and is one of the finest of its type to have entered the marketplace with special note to its unimpeachable provenance.
In our time, when previously unreachable barriers are met after years (no decades) of struggle, this bat is a timely reminder of the past. One of America's earliest social leaders and, yes, one of the games greatest antagonist on and off the field helped start it all. It was not only Dr. King's dream that was satisfied.

The below bat sold for $34,000.00.

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