Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) March 27, 2009
A "Ruthian" Opportunity -- the Babe's first major league baseball contract is for sale on eBay.
George Herman Ruth, commonly known as "The Babe," signed his 1st Full Major League Contract in 1916 with the Boston Red Sox (Ruth started in 1915 but was acquired by the Red Sox via a sale from the minor league Orioles and hence was not issued a full contract then). Before the days of Xerox machines, it was common practice for the teams to photograph original contracts and docs should they need to make photographic duplicates for future usage. In many cases the contracts were destroyed and non-existent and only the negative, such as this one, was kept on file with the league office. This is The Original 1916 glass-plate negatives depicting Ruth's contract with the Red Sox for the 1916 and 1917 seasons and is the ONLY surviving proof of this document (even the HOF didn't know the terms of Ruth's first 2 seasons). The actual contract is unknown and has never been discovered in over 90 years and probably like the others destroyed… making this the only surviving relic that detail the terms of this Monumental transaction from the very beginning of Ruth's career. The four pages of the contract are depicted in four photo negatives, encased in glass plates, each measuring 6.5" x 8.5". The contract bears the signatures of Ruth, team owner Joseph Lannin and American League founder and president Ban Johnson. Detailed in the contract are Ruth's $3,500 annual salary and his ultra rare signature using his formal name, George H. Ruth, Jr. Two of the negatives are cracked at the center and are carefully taped together; the other two are in excellent condition. They have been kept in their original photographer's torn envelope with the photographer's Original Stamp and remarks.
The earliest known Ruth contract ever sold was the 1918 contract that once resided in the Halper collection and sold at Sotheby's in 1999 for $51,750.
Often times on ebay you hear the term "Once in a lifetime" opportunity. This Hall of Fame credible piece fits that bill. It will serve as the cornerstone to any serious Babe Ruth Collection.
See it on ebay here: Link to ebay auction