Suffice to say the Babe Ruth and unbridled fun were always synonymous. While this personal check signed by Ruth offers no specifics, it’s a good bet that the money went toward some hedonistic endeavor. Framed to 13-3/4 x 17-5/8”, the voucher is drawn from Ruth’s account at New York’s Chemical Bank & Trust Company. In Ruth’s hand, it is dated “Nov 12 40” and made out to “Cash” in the amount of “$50.” On the appropriate line, Ruth’s black-ink steel tip fountain pen endorsement reads “GH Ruth” and projects “perfect 10” strength and clarity. This is an absolutely stunning signature authored by a man whose very existence was a continuous romp on the playground. Again, we’ll never know where the $50 from this check went. But you can safely make some good guesses. Considering it was late-1940, we know that Ruth’s playing days were over. But he kept right on “playing.” He had been that way since leaving a Baltimore orphanage. Upon his arrival to the Yankees, Ruth was assigned to room with Ping Bodie. On every road trip, Ruth would check into the hotel room and immediately disappear, usually to find a girl he knew, knew of, or wanted to know. When asked what it was like to be Ruth’s roommate, Bodie deadpanned: “I don’t room with him. I room with his suitcase.” On a train ride, a Yankee executive distributed a $5 expense stipend to each player. Ruth immediately envisioned a nice-sized pot, pulled out a deck of cards and beamed: “Let’s get a game going!” Whatever the occasion, whatever the excuse, Ruth lived to the fullest. And it’s highly likely he had fun after cashing this check. Full photo LOA from JSA.
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