The Sports Collector
News about Sports Memorabilia

R&R Auctions Enterprises Autograph Auctions ( recently auctioned a matte-finish 17” x 21.5” photo of Babe Ruth at home plate of Comiskey Park from the late 1920s for $29,128. This huge portrait, one of few this size known to exist, was autographed by the Babe for a Chicago speakeasy owner: “To My Pal and a great fellow Ralph Jansen from Babe Ruth.”

The photo included provenance from a relative of the original recipient. The letter reads, “This autographed photo of Babe Ruth was given, by the Babe, to my great uncle Ralph Jansen. Babe Ruth was a very close friend of my uncle and they were always doing things together. My uncle owned the Ivanhoe restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, and Babe was a frequent visitor at my uncle’s restaurant. My great aunt has told me many stories about the Babe and some of his personal habits… She said, that it was not uncommon to have Babe sitting on her back porch eating lobster tail with one hand and swigging from a beer bottle with the other. He would often eat 3 lobster tails and drink numerous beers…When Babe signed this photo…he truly meant what he wrote.” 

The Ivanhoe was founded as a speakeasy, and then became a famous and popular fine-dining restaurant, where patrons descended to the basement bar known as “The Catacombs.” 


RR Auctions also sold a group of memorabilia for $7,853, which included: a photo of Babe Ruth and Gary Cooper; a personal check filled out and signed by Ruth, “G. H. Ruth,” payable to C. G. Gurther’s Sons for $113.00, August 3, 1940; and another personal check signed by Gary Cooper, payable to the Collector of Internal Revenue for $15,752.25, and dated February 16, 1942. The check was Cooper’s tax payment for his income that year, which included his salary for the movies Sergeant York and Meet John Doe. The photo shows Ruth and Cooper in Pride Of The Yankees. 



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