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Extraordinary Circa 1940 Babe Ruth Single-Signed Ball - Newly Discovered Example!
Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $39,000
Wilson "Official American Association" (Trautman) ball signed by Babe Ruth across the sweet spot. Ruth's signature, boldly scripted in blue fountain pen, grades a solid "9" and contrasts beautifully against the light surface of the ball. This is an exceptional Babe Ruth single-signed ball in all respects and one of the finest examples we have handled. It is also new to the modern collecting world. This ball has been in our consignor's family for decades and has been passed down through three generations, or, as our consignor put it, "through three generations of dresser drawers." The fact that it has been stored tucked away in a dresser for all that time obviously accounts both for the strength of the signature and the overall condition of the ball. The ball displays only light wear and all of the manufacturer's stampings remain bold and legible. In Excellent to Mint condition overall. George Trautman was president of the American Association from 1935 to 1944, thereby dating the probable period of signing to that ten-year span. Ruth made many exhibition appearances at minor-league parks during that period, and it was most likely obtained during one such occasion. This is a most extraordinary Ruth single and one that would be a prize in any collection, and would serve as a significant upgrade to the majority of those circulating in the hobby today. Ideally, the ball is accompanied by its original Wilson box (Gd, with detached lid). Full LOA from James Spence/JSA.
Please note: Our consignor has just recently provided a signed letter of provenance for the ball in which she details its history. She also recounts how she came to have the ball authenticated at one of the Road Show events held at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, located in Montclair, New Jersey. The letter, which will be provided to the winning bidder, reads in full:
To Whom It May Concern: The Babe Ruth signed baseball has been in my family for years. Many years before I was born, my grandfather took my father to a baseball game here in New York and was able to get Babe Ruth to sign a baseball which he gave to his son, my father. My grandfather was a big baseball fan, always watching the games on television always talking baseball. I’m sure this was his pride and joy. My father wasn’t as big a fan. He played football in high school so that was his sport of choice. He took the baseball my grandfather gave him and put it in his drawer in the original paper box. The baseball remained in my father’s dresser forever, until ten years ago when he passed away. I then removed the ball from his drawer and put it in my night table drawer and it’s lived there since. Not knowing what to do with the ball, I asked people who said the first step was to have it authenticated. I brought it to the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair and had JSA authenticate it. It seemed crazy to have such a special piece of memorabilia sitting in a drawer when a real enthusiast would enjoy owning such a piece of history. JSA suggested I auction the ball and that is what I did. SOLD FOR $39,000
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