RUTH, GEORGE HERMAN "BABE." 1895-1948. Typed Document Signed ("Geo. H. Ruth"), contract between Ruth and promoter Abel Linares for the slugger to appear in a series of exhibition games in Cuba during the 1920 post-season,

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Lot 62
RUTH, GEORGE HERMAN "BABE." 1895-1948.
Typed Document Signed ("Geo. H. Ruth"), contract between Ruth and promoter Abel Linares for the slugger to appear in a series of exhibition games in Cuba during the 1920 post-season,

US$ 100,000 - 150,000
£ 80,000 - 120,000
RUTH, GEORGE HERMAN "BABE." 1895-1948.
Typed Document Signed ("Geo. H. Ruth"), contract between Ruth and promoter Abel Linares for the slugger to appear in a series of exhibition games in Cuba during the 1920 post-season, 1 p, folio, n.p., September 7, 1920, also signed by Linares, Charles Fleming, and John J. Igoe, document with horizontal fold creases at quarters, affixed at upper margin to fragment of original blue document sleeve, mild spotting and toning.

AFTER RECORD-SETTING 1920 SEASON, BABE RUTH PLAYS EXHIBITION GAMES IN CUBA.
In his first season with the New York Yankees, Ruth easily shattered his previous home run record of 29 by hitting 54, an increase of 86% over his previous record. He homered in every different American League ballpark, and off of 35 different pitchers. He ended the season with an .847 batting average, a number that stood as baseball's single season record for the rest of the 20th century. As remarkable as this season was, it was only the first in a series of record-breaking years for Ruth.

Nonetheless, fans beyond US shores were paying attention. In September of 1920, after Ruth passed his previous year's record but before the final numbers had been tallied, the slugger signed this contract with Abel Linares, a successful baseball promoter in Cuba associated with the All-Cubans and the Cuban Stars. Popular histories of Ruth's time in Cuba report that he was paid $20,000 for the two-week stint, but this document reveals that the tab was only $10,000 (paid in a downpayment of $2,000 and the remainder by October 20), plus all expenses for Ruth, his wife, and his assistant John J. Igoe.

In Cuba, Ruth played with members of the New York Giants against several Cuban teams including the Scorpions of Almendares and team Havana. While US baseball was segregated, Cuban baseball was not, and the Americans competed against a rainbow coalition of talent. The New York team won several of the games, but Cuban outfielder Cristobal Torriente shone in a November 6 game against the Americans, earning him the nickname "Babe Ruth of Cuba." Once the two weeks of ball games were over, Ruth devoted his time to the casinos, Jai-Alai clubs, and racetracks of Cuba, reportedly losing much more than he earned from the trip.
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