Spring, 2016 Premier Auction - Closes June 11, 2016
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/12/2016

Born in Vincennes, Indiana in 1872, Dewitt Clinton Amerine was a hardworking young man who began his career as a cutter boy with the Piqua Strawboard Mills (the lowest rung on the corporate totem pole), and retired as president of the Indiana Board & Filler Company, one of the larger paper industry conglomerates of its time.  His personal ambition and energy made him a success in business during the country's hardest economic times; his generosity and care for others helped him earn a well-deserved reputation for being a compassionate civic leader and philanthropist.

He was also a baseball fan, and later in his career purchased a second home in St. Petersburg, Florida with his favorite sport in mind.  His favorite team, the Yankees, began holding their spring training camps in St. Petersburg, practicing at Crescent Lake and playing their games at Waterfront Park.  Mr. Amerine was a regular attendee.

The spring of 1934 marked Babe Ruth's final Spring Training in a Yankee uniform, and he approached training camp ready to get into shape and attack the upcoming season.  Ruth discussed the upcoming season, including thoughts on being a 40-year-old ballplayer, in newsreel footage that can be viewed online.  It was during that spring - on March 25 - that Ruth hit a home run off Boston's Huck Betts that was measured as having traveled an astonishing 624 feet.

Though Ruth was at the tail end of his career in the spring of 1934, his celebrity remained high.  The subject of hundreds of newspaper articles and blurbs across the country in February alone, it seemed that Ruth's every move - from his contract negotiations, to his age, his golf games, his appearance at camp, and his first workout - were extensively chronicled.  By late March, newspaper writers began to feel confident that Ruth had established his home run stroke for the year, and that he would continue his offensive dominance into 1934. Late in the month, the Yankee workouts were swarmed by fans, eager to take pictures of Ruth, and receive autographs.

Among them was Dewitt Clinton Amerine.  Amerine spent time at Miller Huggins Park, taking pictures and obtaining some autographs, which he then carefully stored away for years.  The two baseballs - and accompanying scrapbook - remained in the Amerine family until now.  It is our privilege to present these outstanding artifacts to the hobby.

The first baseball is a 1928 Reach Official American League Ball, signed boldly and vividly by Ruth on the sweet spot.  The Ruth signature has remained clear over the years, with some minor fading that does not impact its legibility.  Though the ball is multi-signed, it does display very well, almost as a single-signed ball.  The remaining signatures on the ball, however, are nothing to sneeze at: Hall of Famers Ed Roush, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Johnny Evers also grace the ball.  While the tough Evers signature is considerably faded, the Alexander and Roush signatures are clean and sharp.  The ball itself, though mildly toned, displays extraordinarily well.

The second ball is a Rube Walberg "Official League Ball" signed by five players, including four Hall of Famers: Bucky Harris (HOF), Joe Tinker (HOF), Gee Walker, Ed Roush (HOF) and Clark Griffith (HOF).  The signatures are all well-preserved and bold, though the Griffith signature does exhibit some smudging.  The ball, which exhibits some mild age-related toning and staining, also features a stamped Rube Walberg signature, which is part of the design of the ball.  Though we cannot fild a newspaper account of such an event, legend in the Amerine family is that some of the signatures were all obtained at some sort of event where current and former players were present, signing autographs for fans.  Several of the signatures also appear to have been applied at different times; it is entirely possible that Amerine obtained some of them on different dates or even different seasons, which is entirely likely given his penchant for attending Spring Training games.

Also included is a small snapshot album which contains several photos taken at Miller Huggins Park, featuring various members of the Yankees.  A handwritten note was taped to the cover, stating "Save Photos for proof of Babe Ruth baseball."  Clearly, Amerine was an astute businessman to the end, thinking to preserve the photo album along with the balls.  Visible in the photographs are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Dixie Walker, Sammy Byrd, and several other players from both the Yankees and an opposing team.  The snapshot album also includes several photos of members of the Amerine family, including one we presume to be Amerine himself.  Two additional copies of snapshots featuring Ruth and Gehrig round out this exceptional offering.

PLEASE NOTE that this item is being offered with a reserve. In consultation with our consignor, we took great care to ensure that the reserve was reasonable, but also considered the items' historical importance and sentimental value.  As with the few items we have offered with a reserve, we will disclose the actual amount of the reserve one week prior to the auction close.

An outstanding collection of two baseballs and an album of original snapshots taken during Yankees spring training in 1934, including very desirable signatures of Babe Ruth, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Joe Tinker, and Johnny Evers, along with outstanding family provenance.  Full LOA on each ball from James Spence Authentication.

PLEASE NOTE that the reserve on this item has been set at $10,000.

Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)
Outstanding Multi-Signed Baseballs (2) w/Babe Ruth, Grover Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and More - Impeccable Provenance! (JSA)
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Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $11,800
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
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