1931 NY Yankees vs. NY Giants Benefit Game Archive – Ticket Stub, Program & Page Signed by 2 Hall of Fame Umpires


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As the country and New York in particular struggled through the Great Depression, Major League Baseball sought ways to assist the destitute and the unemployed.  On September 9, 1931 the New York Yankees played the New York Giants in a benefit game for the unemployed – played during the regular season at Yankee Stadium! 60,549 fans attended and $59,642.50 was raised to aid the jobless in the first meeting between the two teams since the 1923 World Series. The Yankees won 7-3, and the game included a home run by the greatest of all-time – Babe Ruth.

The Giants and Yankees fielded their regular squads, which featured 11 Hall of Famers: 7 of the 9 Yankee players would make the HOF. The 11 were Earle Combs, Joe Sewell, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty Gomez, Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Freddie Lindstrom, and Travis Jackson. Joe McCarthy and John McGraw, two more Hall of Famers, presumably managed their squads, and the two-league set of four umpires included Bill Klem and Bill McGowan, both also Hall of Famers (2 of the 10 umpires in the HOF).

The archive offered here includes:

* Small lined page signed by both Bill Klem and Bill McGowan certainly signed that very day.  Collector’s note at bottom of page notes that Klem was at 1st base and McGowan behind the plate for the game. Very RARE to find both signatures on one piece.

* Beautiful ticket stub from the September 9, 1931 game.  The “Grand Stand Admission” ticket lists a cost of $1.00 and the ticket states the game as “Yankees vs. Giants / For Benefit of Unemployed”.  Original owner noted “First Major League game I saw” in ink on back.

* Eight-page “Official 5¢ Score Card” listing the line up for the Yankees and Giants including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  Pencil markings from previous owner denoting game and date on front cover. “American League Baseball Club of New York / The Yankees / Season 1931” printed on front with insert featuring typed lineups for the both teams – including Ruth and Gehrig, of course.

Fascinating archive from a little-known NY Yankees game that had a huge impact for the benefit of people in need.  First items from this game we have ever seen offered – and one of only a handful of dual-signed items from Klem and McGowan.

The Sultan of Swat had hit career home run #605 just 2 days earlier.  Although not an official game for statistic purposes, ticket stubs from Babe Ruth home run games are highly collectible and sought after.