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Lot # 613: Remarkable 1941 Babe Ruth Letter with Signed Commentary by Mantle, Aaron, Rose, Ripken, Mathews, and Ford (PSA)

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 91 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Winter Classic 2022",
which ran from 2/13/2022 3:00 PM to
3/12/2022 10:00 PM

Offered here is one of the most unique signed items we have ever seen: a 1941 letter from Babe Ruth featuring modern-day handwritten commentary by five Hall of Famers and Pete Rose. This letter originates from the legendary Barry Halper Collection and it was Halper who personally obtained each of the additional signed comments on the letter. To fully explain how this piece came to be, we must first start with the letter itself. The one-page typed letter, dated February 8, 1941, on Ruth's personal letterhead, was written by Ruth to a fan who posed several questions to him. The questions pertained to both Ruth's career records and other baseball records. Ruth was happy to answer, and wrote, in part: "First off, I feel that both my season and career homerun totals will one day be broken. All it will take is a good homerun hitter to be followed by another good homerun hitter (like I was with Gehrig for all those years ). Secondly, of all the great records in Baseball today, the three that I feel will never be broken are 1. Gehrigs 2130 straight games playing steak. 2. Cobbs .367 lifetime batting average. 3. My World Series record of 29 2/3 straight scoreless innings pitched." Ruth signed the letter in blue ink, but, as PSA has noted in its accompanying LOA, the signature is a secretarial example. 

One day Barry Halper was entertaining Whitey Ford as a guest at his home and he thought Ford would like to see Ruth's prediction regarding the three records that would never be broken. (Ford, of course, broke Ruth's World Series pitching record in 1961). Ford got a chuckle out of it and said to Barry, "Well, he got two out of three right, that's not too bad." (This was years before Ripken broke Gehrig's record.) Halper then said to Ford, "That's great, would you write that on the letter." Ford thought he was joking, but Halper was dead serious and told Ford to address his comments to the Babe. Ford was happy to comply and wrote, "Babe, two out of three wasn't bad - Whitey Ford." After obtaining Ford's comments, Halper thought it would be a great idea to have more players address each of Ruth's comments. So, as additional players visited his home and saw the letter, he had the appropriate individuals add their own unique commentary and sign it. The additional signers of the letter, along with their commentary, are: Mickey Mantle ("Hey Babe! You was right Roger did it."), Hank Aaron (Babe You had the record for 39 years now it mine."), Eddie Mathews ("Babe I did my part hitting 4th"), Pete Rose (P.S. Babe, I took care of Cobbs all-time hit record"), and Cal Ripken Jr. ("Babe, I got started and just couldn't stop!").

This was one of Barry Halper's favorite pieces and he was always delighted when it came time for another player to respond directly in writing to the Babe. All records have a way of falling eventually, even those that appear impossible to break. We can only guess how many years it will be before a player tops Cobb's lifetime batting-average mark, but when he does, hopefully this letter will still be around so that Ruth can be proven wrong a third and final time. All the additional signatures and text have been written in blue ink and grade either 9/10 or 10/10. The letter (7x10.5") displays two horizontal mailing folds and remains in Excellent condition. Full LOA from PSA. 

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