Hi, a relative of mine purchased a Babe Ruth autograph recently and I was hopeful that some of you could shed light on its authenticity.

The autograph is in pencil on a program from the 1940s golden gloves boxing tournament in NYC. I found a newspaper article saying he attended the 1939 one, but have been unable to find anything regarding 1940. Picture below, thanks:


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I’m inclined to think this is real, but check with more knowledgeable members like Terrier, Christopher Williams, and Randy.

Thank you, I will check in with them

Glad they chimed in!

I have to be honest, I rarely opine on Ruth signatures because there are so many well executed forgeries out there.  But I see a lot of issues with this example.  

Thank you for the reply! I'd love to know some of the issues if you have the time to write any out. I can see why there would be skepticism and am not denying it could be fake but would like to figure out why if possible.

both B's are atypical in my opinion, as is the unusual finishing stroke of the "e".  The R is off and the t has an unusual right tilt to it.  The entire signature looks off to me.

Totally fair, thank you for the reply once again. I did find other examples of matching "pointed" Rs but the other concerns are highly valid. My hope is he signed this hurriedly in the crowd at the event but that maybe wishful thinking.

entirely possible, but not having witnessed it, we are left with judging the signature as presented.  

Such is the problem with autograph collecting! Thanks again for your time.

Back then the crowds for autographs were not like they are today. People didn’t push and shove nor did they yell at celebrities like they do today. Those are not autograph collectors doing that. It’s the dealers and those who sell. Most autographs seekers back then were respectful and patiently waited their turns. Was a different era.

Hi Ben,

I'm with Terrier on the Babe Ruth, unfortunately. In my opinion I don't think that there is even a slim chance that Ruth signed it. If your relative paid by credit card or PayPal in the last six months he has a decent chance of getting a refund. Even if he's beyond the return privilege or it's an auction, he still has a chance of getting his money back. 

Was this bought at an estate sale?

Thank you Steve. I believe it was purchased at an estate sale containing mostly boxing memorabilia, so the Ruth seemed unusual in the bunch. I'll alert them to this thread so they can see what you've all said on the matter. I really do appreciate the additional opinions you've given me, they're very helpful especially going forward.



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