1934 Japan Barnstorming Trophies

In 1934, after the season was complete, Babe Ruth visited Japan with some other baseball greats of the era (Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Charlie Gehringer, Earl Averill among others). The event was an 18-game matchup against Japan’s Big-Six University League as a way to promote positive relations between the two countries, as well as the game of baseball in Japan. The series achieved its goals and Babe Ruth became a Japanese baseball hero in the process, hitting 13 home runs during the 18-game stint.

The Japanese awarded 3 individual player trophies at the conclusion of the event. They were artfully-crafted bronze vases that were given in honor of the leading pitcher, Lefty Gomez, as well as the most runs scored (27) and the longest home run, both of which were awarded to Ruth. The vase awarded to Lefty was in the care of his daughter, Vernona, until she recently donated to the piece to the Hall of Fame. The Ruth vases are still in the Ruth family.

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