Babe Ruth played baseball like he lived life: with loud, gaudy, entertaining gusto. There was nothing subtle about the happy-go-lucky Sultan of Swat, who paraded through his career, forged an enduring relationship with adoring fans and then withstood the test of time as the greatest power hitter in baseball history.
Ruth's legendary home run totals-714 in his career, 60 in 1927—are no longer records, but they still stand as milestone numbers by which all power hitters are judged. His legendary carousing still enhances the irascible image that colors his aura. More than anything, the magnetic Ruth is hailed as the savior of the game, the man who ushered in the longball era and revitalized baseball when it was mired in the bog of the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Ruth became a New York icon as he powered his way through the Roaring '20s and the Great Depression, posting shocking homer totals of 59 (1921), 60 (1927) and 54 (1928) while leading the Yankees to four World Series championships and anchoring one of the most devastating lineups in history. Lost in the fog of Ruth's 12 American League home run titles, 13 slugging championships, four 50-homer seasons and six RBI titles was a career .342 average that still ranks 10th all time.
No single sports memorabilia item consistently inspires more awe than a bat used by Babe Ruth. For veteran hobbyists or casual fans, the allure of a bat wielded by Ruth in his prime, the ultimate tool of his trade, is unfailing. For many reasons this example is among the finest of known Ruth gamers. The first and most identifiable feature of this George "Babe" Ruth professional model bat is its rich, dark “Hornsby” finish, so described because it was a preferred finish on bats used by fellow batting legend Rogers Hornsby. Its usage characteristics are ideal. Manufactured during 1921-31 period, the uncracked 35 1/4", 40 oz. club shows many ball marks visible throughout the barrel. A close examination of the handle indicates there was once three rings of tape, of which the 'ghosts' are still visible. Available photos show Ruth holding a bat with similar tape present. All barrel brands are deeply burned with no visible flaws.
Enhancing the considerable physical qualities of the bat is its spectacular provenance. This Ruth game used bat is accompanied by a letter from former Brooklyn Dodger, Tony Cuccinello, who was given the bat by the Babe when he was a coach for the Boston Braves in 1936. Cuccinello's letter of authenticity is dated November 21, 1981. We must note there are two typos in Cuccinello's letter, both of which are innocent in nature and in no way alter the spirit of the letter. In his letter Cuccinello mistakenly refers to Ruth being coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1936, as opposed to the correct year of 1938. Also, he erroneously refers to the 1938 Boston Bees as the "Braves."
In a third party assessment conducted by both SCD Authentic (precursor to MEARS) and John Taube of PSA/DNA, it earned their highest marks of “A10” and “GU10” respectively. Its physical attributes notwithstanding, rarely do game bats of this importance include player provenance of this magnitude. A remarkable gift from the Babe to Tony. LOAs from David Bushing and Troy Kinunen of SCD Authentic (Grade A10), and John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA (Grade GU10) and Tony Cuccinello.
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