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1928 Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball - Signed by Ruth, Gehrig, Huggins, Durocher, and Bengough
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $4,500
Extraordinary signed first edition of Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1928), featuring not only the signature of Babe Ruth, but those of four other New York Yankees team members: Lou Gehrig, Miller Huggins, Leo Durocher, and Benny Bengough. All of the signatures appear together at the top of the first page, which displays one-half of a two-page photograph of a game in progress at Yankee Stadium (the other half of the photo appears on the interior front cover). Ruth's signature, scripted in purple ink, grades "8/9." The remaining signatures have all been executed in green ink and grade as follows: Gehrig ("6/7"), Huggins ("6"), Durocher ("6/7"), and Bengough ("5/6"). This book was obviously signed sometime between its year of publication, 1928, and the first half of 1929 because Miller Huggins died tragically on September 25, 1929, at the age of fifty-one. As a result, his signature is among the rarest of all Hall of Fame players. Also, Durocher was traded from the Yankees to Cincinnati in February 1930. While we have handled other examples of this book signed by Ruth alone, this is the first multisigned copy we have ever seen, and the fact that three of the four additional signers are prominent Hall of Famers makes it especially significant. The book, which does not include its dust jacket, is in Very Good condition overall, with moderate wear to the blue cloth boards, a few small tears to the first page and interior front cover photograph that have been repaired with clear tape (not affecting any of the signatures), and a light stain in the lower right corner that affects approximately the first twenty pages. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,500
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