The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today that it has received, on loan, the earliest-known uniform top worn by Babe Ruth, a circa-1920 New York Yankees road jersey, which was recently purchased via auction. The loan is from the purchaser of the shirt, described by the Hall as "a passionate baseball fan whose wishes are to remain anonymous".
The road gray jersey features “NEW YORK” across the chest in blue lettering, with Ruth’s name and initials written inside the collar in faded pink script — “Ruth, G.H.,” – George Herman Ruth. Though Ruth last played in the major leagues in 1935, interest in his career remains larger than life.
“We are thrilled to have this valuable piece of baseball history on display in Cooperstown, so fans everywhere can enjoy another relic from The Bambino’s career,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The jersey’s new owner wants to share this piece of history with baseball fans and historians alike, and we’re equally excited to provide a home to display this vintage item for fans around the globe.”
The Ruth jersey will go on display Friday, June 29, in Babe Ruth’s locker in the Babe Ruth Gallery. The jersey is expected to remain on display through Hall of Fame Weekend 2013, but will be off display from July 24-August 9.
Ruth was sold by the Boston Red Sox to the Yankees during the off season before the 1920 season. In his first year with New York, he hit 54 home runs — more than every team in the major leagues except the Philadelphia Phillies. Ruth was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 1936.
A "Bustin' Babes" jersey that the Bambino wore in 1927 and 1928 when barnstorming against the “Larrupin’ Lous" is the earliest Ruth jersey in the Hall of Fame's collection. Additionally, the Cooperstown shrine has numerous artifacts on exhibit related to Ruth's storied career, including a silver crown presented to Ruth after his 59-home run season of 1921, the bat from his record-setting 60th home run in 1927, and the ball from his final career home run (May 25, 1935).