With a penchant for competition (as well as for the spotlight), Babe Ruth did everything on a grand scale, and usually excelled. His baseball exploits, of course, are well documented. Ruth’s “other” sports passion is the subject of this vintage hardcover book which has been autographed by the larger than life Hall of Famer. Entitled My Fifty Years of Golf (by Andra Kirkaldy; 1921, T. Fisher Enwin Ltd), the 224-page first edition volume is endorsed on the fly leaf by multiple persons with salutations and a “24/3/22” inscribed date accompanying. Rendered in Black-ink steel tip fountain pen, Ruth’s bold penning projects (“9”) strength and clarity. While it’s an unusual medium, this links keepsake showcases an incredibly potent Ruth scripting! Full photo LOA from JSA. More on our website.
The book was originally obtained by Charles LaRoche, a champion golfer and former president of the Philadelphia Country Club. It was in the latter capacity that LaRoche befriended Ruth and secured this autograph. In regards to Ruth’s golfing endeavors, he usually shot in the high 70s, but sometimes shot in the low 70s and occasionally broke par. During a 1930s amateur tournament, he finished 17th in a field of 226, one stroke ahead of Dick Chapman (who later became both the U.S. and British amateur champion). In 1937, a California golf phenom named John Montague paired up with Sylvia Annenberg against Ruth and Babe Didrickson at Long Island’s Fresh Meadows course. More than 12,000 spectators showed up to set a then-record attendance. Ruth and Didrickson led their opponents when the match was called, as Montague was unnerved by the massive crown and Ruth, naturally, was not. As for the condition of the offered book, while all covers and pages remain intact, there is corner bumping, as well as wear and minor separation about the spine (though it remains attached). The main attraction, however, is the above-mentioned page with a remarkable Ruth signature.