Lot # 14: September 24, 1919 NY Yankees Polo Grounds Press Ticket - PSA VG 3 - Babe Ruth Breaks HR Record!

Category: Featured Items

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 22 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
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This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer, 2023 Premier Auction",
which ran from 8/2/2023 12:00 PM to
8/19/2023 9:00 PM

One of the most historically significant tickets we have offered, from the game Babe Ruth broke the single-season home run record for the first time.

The 1919 Yankees were an "also-ran" team, finishing third in the AL with a record of 80-59-2, with a roster filled with well-known but not earth-shattering names.  Toward the end of the season, however, the team would get a glimpse of their future in a September 24 doubleheader against the visiting Boston Red Sox.  In the second game, in front of a paltry attendance of just 6,000 fans, pitcher/outfielder Babe Ruth would lace a long triple off starter Bob Shawkey, but would be called out after failing to touch second base.  In his fourth at bat in the 9th, however, Ruth hit a game-tying home run, and in the process, broke the major league record.

The home run was certainly Ruthian, clearing the roof of the Polo Grounds, the Boston Globe describing the blast as "the most sensational batting achievement ever seen" at the old ballpark.  The Globe reported that the ball sailed out of the stadium and into Manhattan Field, "where it was retrieved by a little boy who disappeared with the trophy."  

At the time, there were some questions about what the record exactly was, as many considered Buck Freeman's 25, set in 1899, to be the most.  It was later discovered that Edward "Ned" Williamson hit 27 home runs with the 1884 Chicago White Stockings, and despite the fact that the right field fence was just 215 feet from home plate, 27 became the established record.

Ruth's 9th inning home run at the Polo Grounds was his 28th, this paper ticket was removed from what was likely a season ticket booklet, gaining the bearer admittance to see the Sultan of Swat break Williamson's mark. Despite all the controversy, the Globe stated that Ruth had set "a world's home run record beyond all question, and one which may never be equaled."  Of course Ruth equaled his record in July of the following year, en route to an unimaginable 54 home runs - a record he would break twice more in his legendary career.

The Red Sox season would last just three more games (and one more home run from the Babe), and the next time Ruth put on a major league uniform it would be that of the Yankees, where he would become one of the most famous names in American history due to his home run power and natural charisma.

The ticket has been graded VG 3 by PSA, the only example graded by PSA from that record-breaking game.  An incredible ticket, the historical importance of this ticket cannot be overlooked, as the only graded example of the very first home run record broken by Babe Ruth - the blast that established him as the Sultan of Swat, the greatest home run hitter the game had ever seen.

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