With a spirit of unity that has sadly dissipated over recent decades, Americans did their part during World War II as we engaged in global battle to protect the freedoms which we held dear. Having done more than his share in resurrecting the National Pastime from its temporary disgrace in 1919 – and again holding the public interest during the desperate times of the Great Depression, Babe Ruth was again glad to help in the World War II effort. On hand (and no doubt still the center attraction) for a Victory Bonds Drive bowling tournament in Mount Vernon, New York, Ruth autographed this baseball. In addition to Ruth, a number of 1945 American League contemporaries signed the ball. Stars in their own right, none could compare with Ruth.
The unofficial orb has a uniform coat of period shellac, through which, black-ink steel tip fountain pennings emerge prominently. The sweet spot is the customary site for Ruth’s grand penning (“8” strength). Elsewhere, we find: North Panel: Steve Gromek and Jack Salveson; South Panel: Andy Kerr and Hal Newhouser (“3” strength); West Panel: Hank Borowy; East Panel: Dizzy Trout, Jim McDonald and Eddie Mayo. The signatures were likely gathered on December 8, 1945 at the Vernon Heights Recreation Alleys, where the Victory Bond benefit was held. The following May, Ruth traveled to Mexico to enjoy the booming popularity of baseball in that country, where they referred to him as “El Rey Jonronero.” The enjoyment was short-lived, however, as Ruth began to feel discomfort in his sinuses and, by November, was checked into New York’s French Hospital where he was diagnosed with throat Cancer. Also included are (6) original Type I photographs from the aforementioned tournament, with Ruth depicted in all (6). Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA.