Babe Ruth's Signed First Contract with Louisville Slugger for Sale
A piece of American sports history is on its way to finding a new home. Legendary baseball player Babe Ruth's first-ever contract with iconic bat company Louisville Slugger recently hit the auction scene and is currently listed at $207,891.
In 1918, George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth, was in his fourth season with the Boston Red Sox. As an emerging star hitter on the team, Ruth signed a contract with Hillerich & Bradsbury to endorse the Louisville-based company's famed Louisville Slugger baseball bat. The contract is dated July 9, 1918, just two months before Ruth helped the Red Sox win their third World Series title in just four years.
The $100 contract recognized Ruth's endorsement of the bat and gave the company rights to produce the bat with an engraving of his signature on the barrel. The piece of memorabilia includes the original written agreement from Ruth, as well as the envelope he sent it in.
The one-page document is written entirely in Ruth's hand. It reads: "Dear sir, your check received, and I thank you very much." He signs the note, "Yours truly" and includes six signatures. The six signatures were provided to give the company several to choose from when creating a template for the bat engravings. The letter was addressed to Mr. Bradsby of Louisville Baseball Bats on a notary envelope from the Hotel Metropole in Chicago, Illinois.
The item was obtained directly from Hillerich & Bradsby and comes accompanied by a letter of provenance from the company.
Bidding for the item via Lelands Sports Memorabilia and Card Auctions started at $100,000 on January 2 and has reached $207,891 as of today. The auction ends on January 29.