The new Memory Lane Inc. auction is offering a unique collector perspective: actual Newsreel footage of the Babe hitting his last home run at Yankee Stadium, on August 23, 1942! Memory Lane's new auction is offering the "Home run ball" from Babe's "last home run ball hit at Yankee Stadium" which the great Bambino hit during a Baseball Fundraising Exhibition that featured pitching by the Big Train, Walter Johnson.
This event was the hottest ticket in New York!
The second largest crowd in Yankee stadium history at the time -- 69,136 people -- came to see the Babe return to "The House that Ruth Built" seven years after he left the Yankees. This event was the hottest ticket in New York! The Exhibition Event was played between a doubleheader game between the Yankees and the Washington Senators. The gate from the event tallied over $80,000 and was donated to the World War II Army-Navy Relief Fund which helped the families of fallen service men. The event, covered by all the NY press, was a big deal to the Babe too. His wife Claire noted in her book that he worried more about hitting one out in his return to Yankee stadium than he ever did for any World Series game.
Having Johnson and Ruth appearing for a "face-off" was the brainchild of the legendary Yankee President Ed Barrows, whose goal was to put a Yankees stamp on the Fundraiser! And boy did it work! It ignited and electrified all of New York with people traveling hundreds of miles to see the Babe and the Big Train. Not a Yankee nor a Senator player left the field, as was customary between doubleheaders. They stood and watched the whole event in front of their dugouts -- among those watching were Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Red Ruffing, Charlie Keller and the whole Yankee team along with the Senators -- Mickey Vernon, George Case and their whole team. Ruth was the pride of the Yankees team, and Walter Johnson had pitched his entire 20-year career for the Senators.
The Newsreel shows the players' dugout when the Babe connects for the home run! The Newsreel is also a great chance to see the Big Train's legendary side arm pitching delivery. It's a classic and so is the Babe's swing -- see them in action! Then see the Babe hit a home run into the right field stands known as Ruthville. (See the Home Run Ball itself online on Memory Lane's web site.)
The Home Run Ball was garnered amid a mad scramble of fans in the stands by 15-year-old Robert Balthazar and his father, Irving. Their host at the game, a man named Russ O'Brien, had a NY Press Pass; he got the ball signed in the Yankees Locker Room following the games by Ruth, Johnson, and HOF umpire Billy Evans. Evans participated in the event because he was the umpire at both Johnson's and Ruth's Major League debuts! (PSA/DNA has authenticated all three the signatures on the ball.)
Also on the web site is a video interview of the now 78-year-old Robert Balthazar telling his story. The ball has been in the Balthazar family for 63 years since the day Robert got it on that Sunday afternoon in 1942. It is being offered at auction to pay for Robert's grandson's college expenses.
Memory Lane has other "rare goodies" in the auction too, like dozens of Gem Mint 10 cards and HOF autographs. Enjoy looking and join the fun! Auction registration and bidding is open. The auction closes 11 pm EST on March 30th. For a complimentary catalog, or if you have questions, Memory Lane Inc. can be reached at 1-877-606-LANE (5263) or through email at [email protected].
Click here to see the Fox Movietone Newsreel: www.memorylaneinc.com.