The Emory Perry Babe Ruth Collection

perryEmory Perry was both a successful businessman from Chicago and an avid baseball fan who, at one point, almost bought the St Louis Browns. He was also lucky enough to be one of Babe Ruth's closest friends, cheering on the Bambino as Ruth led the Yankees to their first dynasty in the 1920's-30's. It has been said that Perry saw Babe hit more home runs than anyone but his Yankee teammates, and he was also by Ruth's side as the Babe was dying a slow and painful death from throat cancer, at the young age of 53, in 1948.

Ruth and Perry forged such a close friendship that in his last years Babe confided to Perry about his personal disappointment and bitterness that major league baseball, the sport he personally catapulted onto the world stage, had forgotten about him when it mattered most.

perryIn response, Perry successfully advocated the baseball's front office for a "Babe Ruth Day" where fans could shower the grateful star with their admiration. Baseball fans honored him on April 27, 1947, which was declared Babe Ruth Day for every organized baseball league in the United States. That day, Ruth, appearing shockingly fragile and thin, addressed 60,000 Yankee Stadium fans in a raspy, ravaged voice, saying "The only real game in the world, I think, is baseball."

At Ruth's further request, Perry created, organized and sat on the board of the Babe Ruth Foundation, whose mission it would be to help poor and underprivileged children like Ruth himself. According to his will, Ruth endowed the foundation with ten percent of his estate This collection of Emory Perry's personal archive of photos, negatives, foundation documents, books, clippings and letters tells the story of Perry's and Ruth's lifelong friendship, which went deeper and farther than any of Ruth’s 714 homers.