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1918 Babe Ruth Incentive Document Headlines Clean Sweep Sale

Clean Sweep's current auction includes a rare 1918 Babe Ruth document involving monetary incentives for reaching pitching milestones with the Red Sox, but that's just one of the gems in the sale that ends Oct 2.

The current auction underway at Clean Sweep Auctions might be the best Steve Verkman and crew have ever offered. From rare documents to autographs from Washington, Lincoln, JFK, Beethoven and the Beatles to plenty of vintage singles, the auction is full of collectors’ wants and needs.

The premier item in the auction – which closes Oct. 2 – is an incredible 1918 incentive agreement signed by Babe Ruth at the time and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee. The 8-1/2-by-11-inch handwritten document is dated June 11, 1918, on Boston Red Sox World Champions 1915 and 1916 letterhead and reads, “Mr. George H. Ruth Boston MASS Dear Sir We agree to pay you the sum of one thousand dollars should you win 24 twenty four games an additional sum of one thousand dollars if you win (30) Thirty ball games during season of 1918 as a member of this club yours Truly Boston American League Baseball Club by Harry Frazee President.”

The centerpiece of this 53-by-43-inch display is a signed 1918 document outlining pitching incentives for Babe Ruth.

The centerpiece of this 53-by-43-inch display is a signed 1918 documentoutlining pitching incentives for Babe Ruth.

The document is signed at the lower left “accepted by Geo. H. Ruth” and is housed in a 53-by-43-inch display. Bidding started at $25,000.

Along with that blockbuster, Clean Sweep also has a great selection of baseball singles and unusually deep selections from all of the major sports.

Presidential, historical and entertainment autographs open the auction. There is a George Washington ship passport document for slaves, a handwritten Abraham Lincoln letter, an FDR letter to Fiorello LaGuardia, a Truman letter with incredible Douglas MacArthur content and a superb JFK/RFK signed piece.

Historical items include two Martin Luther King letters and a General Custer signed check. For entertainment autograph collectors, Clean Sweep is serving up a stunning 1963 Beatles signed hotel register with Ringo Starr using his real name, a Beethoven signature and two Marilyn Monroe signed pieces.

A close-up of the Ruth document.

A close-up of the Ruth document.

For sports memorabilia, in addition to the Ruth document is a Ty Cobb letter with Home Run Baker content and signed letters from Abner Doubleday, Walter Johnson and more from Ruth. There are also three stunning Roberto Clemente single-signed items, team-signed sheets and signed programs.

Clean Sweep has its usual selection of sets and lots, but the single cards in this auction are filled with highlights. Nineteenth century cards include a Newsboy Cabinet Fuller in a 4.5, a W600 Joe McGinnity cabinet and an incredible quality Goodwin Round Album set in the original binder.

There are also collector-grade D304s of Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, an E100 Buck Weaver, an incredibly rare T215 Red Cross Ty Cobb, a broken set of Mint and Gem Mint 1913 National Game cards, six stunning PSA 7 and PSA 7.5 1932 U.S. Caramels and all four Babe Ruths from the 1933 Goudey set – all but one in a PSA 5 holder. Also look for a 1949 Bowman Satchel Paige in an 8, a run of 1952 Topps in 7s with a terrific SGC 3 Mantle that looks great for its grade, a run of 1960s Topps Mantles in 8s and high-grade 1970 Topps cards, including a Willie McCovey PSA 10.

Boxing collectors will see some tremendous Ali items, including two vintage 1960s Cassius Clay signed photos, one from the 1960 Olympics.

Football collectors will see several Mayo cards, a clean run of sets from 1951-68, championship tickets (including Super Bowl II), a 1966 Packers signed football and rare USFL contracts of HOFers.

For bat collectors, Clean Sweep lists professional model bats from Joe DiMaggio, an amazing Ray Knight 1986 World Series gamer, 1920s Freddie Lindstrom, Eddie Mathews and Meusel.

On the memorabilia side, there is an 1880s Dark Town bank, season passes for Charles Comiskey (1909) and Mickey Mantle (1974), a great letter to Joe Jackson from his lawyer regarding the Black Sox scandal, a 1952 Yankees World Series run and a Dwight Gooden 1986 Mets jersey, graded MEARS 10.

Baseball concludes the auction with single-signed balls from Kiki Cuyler, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Roger Maris and Hack Wilson. Multi-signed balls include a stunning Ruth, Foxx, Simmons ball signed on separate panels, a 1951 ball with a rookie Mantle and more.

Team balls include a 1918 spring training signed baseball with Christy Mathewson, as well as Ty Cobb, Hughie Jennings and Hal Chase.

For more information on this auction, call (516) 338-8557 or visit

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