In 1926, 11-year old, John Sylvester was hospitalized after falling off a horse. In order to cheer him up, Johnny's parents sent an autograph request to his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees. In response to the request, the Yankees sent him a team-signed baseball as well as a personal letter from Babe Ruth himself. In the letter, Ruth stated, "I will try to knock you another homer, maybe two today." Ruth ended up hitting three homeruns that day and Little Johnny's condition drastically improved. The Yankees eventually lost the series in seven games.
After the World Series was over, Ruth made a much-publicized visit to the Sylvester home in Essex, New York. The story of "Babe Ruth and Little Johnny" became one of the most famous stories in the history of major league baseball. Ruth continued to terrorize opposing pitchers for nine more seasons, while Little Johnny ended up becoming a successful executive before passing away in 1990.
The 1926 team-signed Yankees baseball as well as the original letter that Ruth wrote is now up for auction at Grey Flannel Auctions. They are part of the Sylvester Collection, which features another letter from Ruth, a signed Red Grange football,a tennis racquet from "Big" Bill Tilden and a letter from Rogers Hornsby. These are all items from John Sylvester's personal collection and come with a JSA COA and Letter of Authenticity from the Sylvester Family.
Labels: Babe Ruth Autographed Baseball, Grey Flannel Auctions, I'll Knock a Homer For You, John Sylvester Autograph Collection