Two months to the day after hitting the final home run of his big league career, Babe Ruth was back in New York playing golf and signing autographs. A brief and tumultuous 1935 season had come to an end just weeks earlier.
Ruth is signing after playing in the club’s annual tournament.
The 7×9 Acme News Service photo is among the items in the company’s March auction, which concludes Sunday night.
After his departure from the Yankees following the 1934 season, Ruth was hoping to spend one more year as a player and advisor to the struggling Boston Braves.
It didn’t go well.
Clashes with management over what Ruth said were unfulfilled promises and a poor performance on the field lessened his desire to keep playing. Clearly out of shape compared to his younger colleagues, Ruth retired June 2 but not before that one last hurrah on May 25, when he belted home runs 712, 713 and 714 in one game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The Babe in Boston colors just didn’t seem right, even though he had started his career with the Red Sox two decades earlier.
While some players may have shied away from the public after such a difficult ending to a brilliant career, Ruth was anything but a wallflower. While the fate of those autographs isn’t known, they’d be worth thousands of dollars today.
Ruth spent the mid-1930s hoping to get a chance to manage somewhere, but it never happened. He died of cancer on August 16, 1948, just 13 years after his playing career had ended.
You can see more than 1,300 historic photos of all kinds up for bid through Sunday evening at RMYAuctions.com.