A newly discovered thank you letter Babe Ruth penned to a Chicago sportswriter in 1923 is about to hit the auction block.
Mile High Card Company will offer the letter, written on Ruth’s personalized stationery, as the featured item in its December catalog auction. According to the company’s own research, only three other handwritten Babe Ruth letters are known to exist. The letter was recently authenticated by PSA/DNA with a grade of 9. It is expected to sell for $60,000-$90,000.
“Almost all known Babe Ruth letters are typed and bear his signature at the bottom,” said MHCC President and CEO Brian Drent. “This is one of just a few fully handwritten letters known and it’s the best.” Just one other (a business letter to the Peacock Motion Picture Company in China) is handwritten on Babe Ruth letterhead.
Drent calls the letter “one of the most significant autographed pieces of Babe Ruth memorabilia to come along in years.”
The September 26, 1923 note is addressed to Harry Neily, lead sportswriter for the Chicago American who cast his vote for Ruth to win the American League MVP award. It was the only time Ruth would take MVP honors since players couldn’t win more than once until the rule was changed in 1931. In it, Ruth expresses his thanks to Neily for his vote and a pledge to “… keep right on trying. I don’t want anybody to say your vote was a mistake.”
Neily died in 1948, ten days after Ruth. The letter is being consigned by his family and has never been offered at auction before.
The auction is set to open on November 20 and conclude on December 7.