During the 1933 MLB season, at the age of 38, New York Yankees’ slugger extraordinaire Babe Ruth was still putting plenty of good wood on the ball as he batted .301 with 34 home runs and 104 runs batted in. For good measure, he scored 97 runs and was walked 114 times. But during the offseason, Ruth was busy putting his business affairs in order and even drew up his last will and testament.
That important document, which was signed and dated on Dec. 26, 1933, is now on the auction block at www.scpauctions.com, with bidding scheduled to close on April 25. The piece could fetch as much as $150,000. Bidding is currently past $25,000.
“It is well-documented that the vast majority of Babe’s personal memorabilia was gifted, at Ruth’s consent, to the National Baseball Hall of Fame shortly after his passing,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler. “The offered Last Will and Testament is among only a few Ruth mementos ever offered to the public with direct Ruth family provenance. It is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Babe Ruth's grandson, Tom Stevens.”
The nine-page document (pages are 13-by-9 inches) is in superlative condition and is affixed to the traditional "Last Will and Testament" cover folder, with the ornate old English script and Ruth's full name and the Dec. 26, 1933, date typed on the cover piece. Ruth's elegant signature appears on the final page, using his full name "George Herman Ruth," a grudging nod to formality that The Bambino would typically reserve for official documents and the like. Three other New York State residents have signed as witnesses below Ruth's signature, adding their residence information. Also included is the traditional heavy cardstock 5-by-10-inch flapped envelope with "Will of George Herman Ruth and the date" typed on the cover. The envelope is in complementary condition, jostled only slightly by a small 3/4-inch tear to the flap.
The auction is being conducted online at www.scpauctions.com. For more information, call 949-831-3700.