Christmas 1924 was one to remember for a buddy of Babe Ruth. Jimmie Donahue was a former boxer and restaurant owner who befriended the young star after his arrival in New York. That December day 88 years ago, the Yankees’ star stopped by to wish his friend a happy holiday and brought along an inscribed bat as a gift. It was one of numerous items from Ruth’s career that he gave to Donahue.
The bat made its way into the marketplace via Mastro Auctions a few years ago but on Saturday, it was offered again in Hunt Auctions’ 9th Annual Louisville Slugger and generated a bidding war. When the dust settled the winner paid $253,00 including a 15% buyer’s premium.
Bidding in the auction began last month and closed with a live event inside the Museum.
Other items sold included:
Rare 1915 World Series program (at Philadelphia). Original program issued for game played at the Baker Bowl, scored neatly in pencil for Game 2. Sold for $27,600.
1927 World Series Champion New York Yankees team signed baseball. Red and blue stitched Reach B.Johnson OAL baseball signed by 21 including Ruth, Gehrig, Huggins, Combs, Shawkey, Grabowski, Miller (bullpen coach), Paschal, O’Leary, Moore, Lazzeri, Shocker, Morehart, Bengough, Giard, Koenig, Durst, Ruether, Thomas, and Wera. Sold for $25,047.
R.J. (Bobby) Wallace single signed baseball c.1910s-1920s. A rare official Ban Johnson American League baseball. The rare single-signed ball from the Hall of Famer sold for $21,850. The ball was part of a group of signed balls assembled by the general manager of the St. Louis Jefferson Hotel in the early 1900s. In all, they sold for more than $102,000.
2009 Phillies National League championship ring from estate of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas. Sold for $19,550.
Rare Christy Mathewson Tuxedo Tobacco trolley card advertising sign c.1910. Sold for $16,100.