A baseball bat gifted by Babe Ruth to an Irishman in 1926 comes under the hammer at Mealy’s Rare Books and Collectors’ sale in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on September 28. The original Spalding B12 baseball bat, the handle grip end stamps 35″ (89cms), was given to Frank McGrath, manager of the first ever Inter-County GAA team from Ireland to visit the US. The Tipperary Time team received a civic reception at the Astor Hotel in New York on May 22, 1926. It was hosted by the then Mayor, Jimmy Walker (‘Beau James’) whose father was from Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny and the Tipperary Men’s Association of New York. The team went to Yankee Stadium where they met Babe Ruth. Frank McGrath presented a hurley to Babe Ruth and Babe Ruth gave the baseball bat to Frank McGrath. The bat is estimated at 4,000-5,000.
Jack Lynch’s 1944 All-Ireland hurley features in the sale too. Both sides are signed in black marker by the former Irish Taoiseach. The 34″ hurling stick is reputed to be the one used in the 1944 quadruple All-Ireland for Cork by Jack Lynch. It was gifted to Sam Melrose by Jack Lynch and is estimated at 500-600.
UPDATE: THE TOP LOT AT THIS SALE WAS THE RUGBY PROGRAMME FOR THE HISTORIC MUNSTER VERSUS THE ALL BLACKS GAME AT THOMOND PARK IN 1978 WHICH MUNSTER WON. ESTIMATED AT 400/500 IT SOLD FOR 2,800.