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Director of Operations @ Grey Flannel Auctions

Earliest Known Babe Ruth Pinstripes | Sold For: $183k

Lot #1: 4/13/1921 Babe Ruth NY Yankees Opening Day Game-Used Flannel Pants (Multiple Photomatches)(5-for-5 Performance)

These are without question the earliest Babe Ruth game-used pinstripe uniform article ever offered, therefore making them quite iconic as the man himself. Inside the rear waistband of these enormous pants is the “A.G. Spalding Bros” manufacturer’s tag. Directly below is the player’s name, “Ruth” embroidered in red chain stitch script-style lettering in single-ply indicating early 1920’s (In the mid-1920’s, the embroidery was done in a much thicker manner). The pants measure to a size “42” waist and are 38 inches in length. They were worn in The Babe’s “skinnier” days as Ruth is often visualized as robust, to say the least. The rear pockets are fully intact. The front left belt loop is detached at the top. The front right belt loop was also detached and repaired at an angle. There is one belt loop covering the top button which makes the pants an undeniable photomatch as pinstripes are like fingerprints. There is heavy sweat staining inside the rear waistband and two large team period repairs as well as one smaller team repair visible on the rear of each leg. There is also evidence of dirt staining on both legs. Eight and a half inches of additional matching pinstripe flannel material has been added to the length of each leg by the Yankees, custom-made for Ruth. The extra length was needed so The Babe could roll them up and tuck them into his navy blue stirrup socks. This is evidenced by a photo of Ruth wearing these very pants tucked into his stirrups posing with Frank “Home Run” Baker on April 13, 1921, Opening Day at the Polo Grounds. The Bambino went 5-for-5 with two RBI that afternoon in an 11-1 rout of the Philadelphia Athletics. Multiple photos from this era show Ruth wearing these pants, clearly indicating that they were a staple of his early years as a New York Yankee. The provenance of these pants is impeccable; they originally came from Claire Ruth in 1974. The pants show outstanding game-use and other than the aforementioned, appear to have no further alterations of any kind. A true piece of American and baseball history that you can reach out and touch; directly linked to the greatest player of all time—George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

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