The auction house that sold the earliest known Yankees jersey of Babe Ruth for $4.4 million just a couple of months ago has another gem on its hands. SCP has announced that its fall auction will include Babe Ruth’s circa 1922 N.Y. Yankees team sweater.
The garment was likely a staple in Ruth’s suitcase during his pivotal early years with the Bronx Bombers. Period photographs suggest that this extraordinary double-knit Yankees team issued sweater was likely worn by a young and virile Ruth while taking New York by storm both on and off the field in the early 1920s. The steel gray sweater is trimmed with a navy shawl collar, cuffs, front placket and bottom trim. There is an exquisite light purple interlocking “NY” logo on the left breast. The name “RUTH” is largely hand written in period faded purple ink (approximately 4-inch letters) on the inside lower back of the garment.
A 1969 newspaper article that accompanies the sweater documents its lineage as having been gifted to William Christman of Gaithersburg, Md., by a trainer of Babe Ruth in St. Louis during the early 1920s. At the time Christman received the sweater from Ruth’s former trainer, he was a young St. Louis area high school baseball star playing in the local Babe Ruth League. Christman kept the sweater until 1969, when, as the article states, he presented it to a Gaithersburg restaurateur to be displayed in part to honor the death of Mr. Christman’s son in Vietnam. The sweater is accompanied by comprehensive LOA from MEARS.
This item will be on exhibition at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, Md. (SCP Auctions booths 509P, 513P, 608P, 612P).