1934 American Tour Of Japan
Special Note . . . . Please contact for price and details for purchase of this Hall of Fame quality item.FOLDING BASEBALL SHAPED MENU, 1934 - Babe Ruth Signed Others Imperial Hotel, 1934. Official Dinner Program Menu. Overall excellent condition, tightly hinged very strong printing and hand-signed ink signatures, some pin holes (none effecting signatures.) Housed in thick plexiglass case with plastic thum screws. Approximately 4 inch diameter when folded closed, nearly 8 inches long when opened. Signed in person all at same function by Babe Ruth, Charles Gehringer, John Quinn, Joe Cascarella, and Frank Hayes. Exceedingly scarce piece of memorabilia from the earliest days of baseball expansion on an International level. Dinner For The American Baseball Party - November 19, 1934. Given By The American Association Of Tokyo Imperial Hotel U.S. Pro Baseball Japan Trip. Authenticity Guaranteed. Seller Obtained Directly From Participant Joe Cascarella. Cream - Colored Heavy Weight Paper Printed in Blue Ink. Approximate 4 inch Diameter When Closed. Signatures in Black Fountain Pen. This autographed Dinner Program was purchased during the winter of 1982 directly from one of the participants of this landmark visit to Japan, Joe Cascarella. During this period I was co-owner of an art and memorabilia gallery in SW Florida. In addition to the purchase, Cascarella spoke to me at length regarding this trip, which as a rookie traveling with Ruth, Gehrig and other all-time greats was enormously thrilling for the then 27 year old pitcher. I asked why these five players had signed the Program-Menu and not the others. While he didn't know the specifics for some, he did say that "Gehrig would not have anything to do with The Babe or anything which he had to do with." He added that this item was one of the only keepsakes he had personally kept from his relatively short time in professional baseball, and the only one linking him with the great Ruth. Due to the source of the item, DNA testing and other processes have not been undertaken to limit handling of this valuable item. However, due to the source of the item, authenticity of the item is guaranteed! Francis Joseph "Lefty" O'Doul was one of baseball's most colorful personalities. A major leaguer for 11 seasons, O'Doul had two distinct careers over a 16-year span from 1919-34, first as a left-handed pitcher and then an all-star outfielder. One of the stars of his hometown San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in 1918, the 22-year-old O'Doul would make his major league debut as a relief pitcher with the 1919 New York Yankees. Over his next four big league campaigns, O'Doul appeared in 34 games with the Yankees and Red Sox, before arm troubles ended his pitching career. During his playing career, and after it concluded, O'Doul would become one of baseball's greatest ambassadors as he helped popularize the game in Japan. O'Doul participated in several Japan tours with major league all-stars, and became an idol of fans across the country with his vibrant personality and star status. Additionally, O'Doul coached at six universities in 1932. His influence led to the development of professional baseball in Japan. Following that 1934 season, Lefty O'Doul was part of the biggest US baseball delegations to ever travel to Japan. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx were the headliners but O'Doul was the lead ambassador. His relationship with the country and its people had grown steadily since his initial visit in 1931. Because of the success of the 1934 trip, O'Doul has been frequently credited with playing a major role in the establishment of professional baseball in Japan, including the naming of the Tokyo Giants. He undoubtedly was responsible for promoting the game internationally in a way never before seen. Thus, this 1934 trip may well be said to have inspired the phenomenal growth of baseball on the international level. Morris "Moe" Berg (March 2, 1902 - May 29, 1972) was an American Major League Baseball catcher who also served briefly as a spy for the United States. His is said to be the only baseball card on display at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. Berg spoke several languages and was sometimes called "the brainiest guy in baseball" by admiring newspaper sportswriters, who featured him in their columns far more than was called for by his sports prowess. His reputation was fueled when he did very well as a guest on the radio quiz show Information, Please! in 1938. Berg answered questions about the derivation of words and names from Greek and Latin, historical events in Europe and the Far East, and ongoing international conferences. Casey Stengel once described Berg as "the strangest man ever to play baseball." Herb Hunter arranged for three players, Berg, Lefty O'Doul, and Ted Lyons, to go to Japan to teach baseball seminars at Japanese universities during the Winter of 1932. On October 22, 1932, the group of three players began their circuit of Meiji, Waseda, Rikkyo, Teidai (Tokyo Imperial), Hosei, and Keio universities, the members of the Tokyo Big Six University League. When the other Americans returned to the United States after their coaching assignments were over, Berg stayed behind to explore Japan. He went on to tour Manchuria, Shanghai, Peking, Indochina, Siam, India, Egypt and Berlin. Despite his desire to go back to Japan, Berg reported to the Senators training camp on February 26, 1933 in Biloxi, Mississippi. He played in 40 games during the season, and only batted .185. The Senators won the pennant, but lost to the Giants in World Series. Cliff Bolton, the Senators starting catcher in 1933 demanded more money in 1934. When the Senators refused to pay him more, he sat out and Berg got the starting job. On April 22, 1934, Berg made an error, his first fielding mistake since 1932 - an American League record of 117 consecutive errorless games. On July 25, the Senators gave Berg his unconditional release. He soon returned to the big leagues, however, after Cleveland Indians catcher Glenn Mayatt broke his ankle on August 1. Indians manager Walter Johnson, who had managed Berg in 1932, offered Berg the reserve catching job. Berg played sporadically until Frankie Pytlak, Cleveland's starting catcher, injured himself, and Berg became the starting catcher. Herb Hunter arranged for a group of All-Stars, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earl Averill, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Gomez, to tour Japan playing exhibitions against a Japanese all-star team. Despite the fact that Berg was a mediocre, third-string catcher, he was invited at the last minute to make the trip. Among the items Berg took with him to Japan were a 16-mm Bell and Howell movie camera and a letter from MovietoneNews, a New York City newsreel production company that Berg had contracted to film the sights of his trip. When the team arrived in Japan, he gave a welcome speech in Japanese and also addressed the legislature. On November 29, 1934, while the rest of the team was playing in Omiya, Berg went to Saint Luke's Hospital in Tsukiji, ostensibly to visit the daughter of American ambassador Joseph Grew. Instead, Berg snuck onto the roof of the hospital, one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, and filmed the city and harbor with his movie camera. He never did see the ambassador's daughter. Back at home, the Indians gave him his unconditional release. Berg continued on to the Philippines, Korea and Moscow. With the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, the United States was thrust into World War II. During the summer of 1942, Berg screened the footage he shot of Tokyo Bay for intelligence officers of the United States military. The film is reputed to have helped Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle plan his famous Doolittle Raid. Thus, the 1934 professional baseball trip, from which the item being offered here came, may have in fact played a vital role in the U.S. and allied forces containing Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor! PERHAPS THE GREATEST BASEBALL COLLECTIBLE RARELY SEEN OFFICIAL MENU OF JAPANESE VISIT SIGNED BY BABE RUTH, GEHRINGER, & OTHERS.