From a Fan: Extremely Rare Babe Ruth Poster Up For Sale


From a Fan: Extremely Rare Babe Ruth Poster Up For Sale

Babe Ruth Central offers services in selling Babe Ruth, baseball and other sports memorabilia. We also like to share people’s stories regarding their prized possessions. Recently, a fan of BRC made us aware of a rare, Babe Ruth-related poster that is going up for auction in May. The poster dates back to 1926 and is advertising an exhibition game featuring Babe Ruth at St. Paul’s Lexington Park against the local of athletes from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Babe Ruth Poster 1926

Babe Ruth Minnesota Barnstorming Poster From 1926. From Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions is selling the poster and provided the following description of the piece:

1926 Babe Ruth Barnstorming Broadside–Only Example Known.

We credit the essential work of the baseball historians of SABR, and specifically a fascinating article about St. Paul, Minnesota’s most historically significant ballpark, for its tale of a 1926 visit of the mighty Bambino:

“Besides the stars who played for or against the Saints, some great players appeared at Lexington Park in exhibition games. Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees came to St. Paul on Wednesday, June 16, 1926. Fans got the chance to watch Ruth launch some long balls in batting practice, although the game was rained out. Earlier in the day, a huge crowd gathered outside the Pioneer Press and Dispatch building in downtown St. Paul as Ruth hurled autographed baseballs out a window of the building.”

It was not far from that ballfield where this remarkable relic served decades imprisoned within the walls of an old home, discovered during demolition and rescued from the trash by our wise consignor. It is the first of its kind we have ever encountered, and likely the only specimen that exists nearly nine decades after this brief detour between Yankee road visits to St. Louis and Chicago.

The broadside measures an impressive 14×22″ in size and is constructed of medium weight card stock. Our catalog imagery should convey that the aesthetics remain very strong despite the sorts of condition issues one would expect from its lengthy lifespan. Tack holes at the corner speak to its original display on the streets of St. Paul, while a scattered few other puncture holes thankfully remain clear of the marvelous graphics. The most pressing condition issue is a five inch tear at the right side just below the “Lexington Park” text, but a simple application of archival tape to the reverse will be an easy fix. Surely one willing to invest in a professional restorationist could expect marvelous results, as the toning and structural imperfections should all be quite curable.

We note that the year “1926” is a period handwritten addition, but we find this to be no distraction–charming even, like the baffling error in the printing of the poster boy’s name. While a scattered few “Bustin’ Babes vs. Larrupin’ Lous” broadsides have surfaced in the modern hobby, commanding over $50,000 even over a decade ago, this is the first we’ve encountered that features the Babe in Yankee pinstripes, a point of intrigue certain not to escape the notice of the cultured collector.

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