Newly founded in the 1950s, Empire Industries of Tarboro, NC wasted no time in cashing in on “Babe” Ruth's enormous popularity with the introduction of this “Babe Ruth Bat and Baseball” plastic toy set. Consisting of an 18” long bat and a 2” diameter ball this toy was apparently intended for the preschoolers. Housed in its original cardboard baseball glove display package the offered set has remarkably escaped use by the intended tykes to remain in like new condition. Both bat and ball show no signs of wear and the 5x6 packaging remains solid. More on our website.
The red bat features a faux raised tape design on the handle and the white ball is embossed with faux stitching. While neither piece shows any discernible scuffs, scratches or abrasions, the bat has a factory flaw on the end of the barrel and the ball bears some light soiling. The glove shaped cardboard display bears art images of Ruth on both sides along with facsimile signatures and lists of Ruth’s career records. One of the listed career records is for most World Series home runs with a total of "15", pre-dating Mickey Mantle's record of "18" which he set in 1964. Mantle tied Ruth's WS home run record in 1963. These records paired with the reported founding date of 1953 for Empire Industries indicate the item was manufactured sometime between 1953 and 1963. Another listed record cites "Most Home Runs in a 154 Game Season, however there is no indication that this stat is provided in consideration of Roger Maris' 1961 162-game record, though it does suggest this particular set could have been produced as late as 1962 or 1963. The cardboard packaging displays in fantastic condition with bright, clean surfaces and sharp printing/graphics, with the only signs of age/wear being oxidation of the three original staples, light stress creases adjacent to the staples and the removal of a white price tab extension. These few minor flaws have negligible impact of this incredibly well-preserved item.