Mastro Collection Auction Opens

A group of over 800 items from the collection of long-time hobby figure Bill Mastro went on the block Monday.

Legendary Auctions is selling the Mastro collection, with bidding set to conclude December 8 and 9.

The collection is heavy on Babe Ruth items including:

1927 Signed Yankees Payroll Check Issued and Cashed the Day of His 60th Home Run – PSA DNA MINT 9

Ruth received the check the Friday morning of September 30, 1927, and he cashed it the same day. Then he went off to work and made history. Ruth’s formal-style signature, “G.H. Ruth,” endorses the reverse atop Chase National Bank’s dated September 30 stamping. The front-side signatures are those of Yankees executives Jacob Ruppert and Ed Barrow.  The amount, $6,595.38, represents just under 10 percent of Ruth’s annual $70,000 salary, and—based on the reference notation “In full payment of salary for season 1927″—it most likely zeroed out the balance for the year. Minimum Bid: $10,000.00.

“The Hand of George Herman Ruth” 1934 Signed Original Handprint – PSA DNA MINT 9

In the July 1934 issue of Baseball Magazine, palm reader Alice Denton Jennings published an article titled “The Hand of George Herman Ruth: A Character Analysis of the Famous Babe’s Paw.” Her in-depth decoding explored such traits as finger length, finger spacing, thumb thickness and success lines, as well as superhero-sounding markers like the “star of powerful leadership,” “triangle of superior sportsmanship” and “cross of keen observation.” Jennings obtained the ink print herself, and it was then directly used as the centerpiece of the article. Ruth’s hand spans approximately 7-1/2″ inches in length from palm pad to middle fingertip, and 5-3/4″ in width from palm edge to thumb tip.  Minimum Bid: $10,000.00.

Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig 1927 Barnstorming Advertising Poster

Of the eight West Coast games pitting the Bustin’ Babes against the Larrupin’ Lous, the most historically significant took place in Fresno on October 29th. Ruth and Gehrig arrived by train from Sacramento that morning and were greeted by thousands of fanatical Fresnans. As they had in every city so far, Ruth and Gehrig recruited local players to fill out their rosters. What gives this game such celebrated status in the annals of Ruth-Gehrig barnstorming was the participation of four Japanese ballplayers: Johnny Nakagawa, Harvey Iwata, Fred Yoshikawa and the great Kenichi Zenimura.  Minimum bid $10,000.

1928 Fro Joy Die-Cut Counter Sign

In August of 1928, as part of its “Fro-joy Cone Week” promotion, the company issued six small Ruth cards, which could then be submitted by mail in exchange for a photographic premium of the Bambino batting. That same Charles Conlon image (familiar from the later ’33 Goudey set) was also artistically rendered in portrait style for this 12″-tall counter sign—the only known example in its size, and one of only two Ruth Fro-joy advertising signs in existence. As to its origins and value, this sign surfaced in the mid-1970s with the family of a former Fro-joy employee, and it last sold publicly in 2001 for almost $22,000. The sole extant counterpart—a four-foot-tall version that underwent massive restoration—reached more than $32,000 after its discovery in 2008. Minimum bid is $5,000.