A left-footed cleat, shoe 3 ¼ x 12 ½ x 5 inches, with toe plate, heel stamped "43," three cleats at heel, three at toe, now bronzed, with photograph of Ruth laid in to sole, holes drilled to sole from previous mounting, oxidation overall. Together with a Typed Note Signed of Christy Walsh Jr. to Barry Halper, 1 p, 4 x 6 inches, reading "I certify that the left footed spike belonging to Babe Ruth when he was a pitcher as indicated by the toe plate circa 1918 was given to my late father when he represented the 'Babe,'" n.p., n.d., with "The Christy Walsh Syndicate" business card laid down to upper margin of note.
Provenance: gift of Babe Ruth to manager Christy Walsh; by descent to his son Christy Walsh, Jr. (note); sold to Barry Halper; sold Sotheby's New York, The Barry Halper Collection, September 29, 1999, lot 552, to Jim and Theresa Earle.
THE BAMBINO'S SPIKE.
This pair, with its distinctive toe plate, is a strong match to the pair at the Baseball Hall of Fame donated by Ruth in 1939, their very first acquisition. Ruth was a star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox from 1914-1919, but grew unhappy with the lack of playing time afforded pitchers in the regular lineup. After disagreements with coaches and Red Sox management bubbled over, Ruth's contract was sold to the New York Yankees, where he bloomed into the superstar batting ace we know and love today—leaving the Red Sox to deal with the Curse of the Bambino, a World Series dry spell that lasted over 80 years.