The legend of Babe Ruth grew in 1926, when the slugger and his New York Yankees teammates did a good deed for an injured child. Now, one lucky fan can own a famous piece of history from that emotional time.
Johnny Sylvester was seriously injured at age 11 after falling off a horse and getting kicked in the head by his mount. Ruth and the Yankees caught wind of the news before Oct. 6, 1926, and sent an autographed baseball to Sylvester. That baseball has been put up for auction by Grey Flannel Auctions.
Sylvester was hospitalized near his home in Essex Falls, N.J., and the Yankees were in St. Louis playing the Cardinals in the 1926 World Series when the team learned of the child’s unfortunate accident. Upon hearing that Sylvester was a huge Yankees fan, Ruth and Co. sent an autographed baseball along with a promise.
Ruth, who signed the baseball’s sweet spot, also wrote, “I’ll knock a homer for Wednesday’s game.” The Bambino made good on his promise, homering three times in Game 4 of the 1926 World Series to become the first player in the history of the Fall Classic to hit three home runs in a single game. It also was Ruth’s first career three-homer game.
Not long after Ruth’s historic effort, Sylvester’s health improved, and newspapers across the country began running stories about how Ruth helped “cure” the injured youngster. Sylvester’s doctor even said that the child’s recovery began immediately after he heard of Ruth’s three home runs.
“His fever began to abate at once,” the doctor reportedly said.
The minimum bid for the famous baseball was set at $50,000, although bidding has since eclipsed the $100,000 mark.
UPDATE: SOLD FOR $250,642
Photos via Grey Flannel Auctions