1944 Babe Ruth NY State Income Tax Return (Ghost Signed)
In house file copy of Babe Ruth’s 1944 NY State Income Tax Return was recently obtained from the estate of Mr. Joe Bihler. He was the behind the scenes right-hand man of Ruth’ agent Christy Walsh and in turn Ruth himself. This document is ghost signed by Bihler for the Babe. The signature is oddly similar to the Ruth’s as Bihler he did sign for him on checks and documents.
Great introspection into the life of the Bambino, the Babe was doing quite well. Codicil of expenses is tipped-in on the verso. He was getting $13,000 a year from Spalding for the Babe Ruth Radio Show, and as a one-day guest on NBC radio he was paid $1225 (which was a lot for the time). Babe Ruth was paid well for all those appearances he did (as he should) thanks to the work of Christy Walsh. There was never a horror story with the Babe’s finances as he was well off. Unfortunately, there are many doctors’ bills on same page because of his deteriorating heath.
Most interestingly he was deducting for “advertising expense” all of the “baseball and photos” he used. These are what he used for autographs wherever he went or from home. Actually, during the early 1930s the IRS disallowed this deduction and the Babe protested it and won! Hence, its appearance as a line item here.
Because of the generosity of the IRS in allowing this deduction they in some way helped provide the rich legacy of Babe Ruth signed pieces now in our collections and on the market.
A rich and important document comes with Lelands LOA detailing provenance and guaranteeing authenticity.