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Lot # 884 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1926 Babe Ruth Single-Signed Ball

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,555

Red-and-black stitched ball signed by Babe Ruth in black fountain pen (grading "4") across the sweet spot. The year, "1926," is printed directly on the panel below. It should be noted that Ruth has bracketed the "Babe" portion of his signature in quotation marks, a practice that was common for him up until approximately 1928 (and abandoned in later years), thereby helping to corroborate the 1926 date notation. This ball has a special provenance in that it originates directly from the personal collection of Jim "Doc" Ewell, who spent more than seven decades as a major league trainer, including long stints with both the Philadelphia Athletics (he began his career with the club in 1938) and Houston Astros. This ball has been consigned directly by Ewell's son, and, according to family lore, Ewell obtained it personally as a young child while attending an exhibition game in which Ruth appeared. That history is consistent with the ball itself. Although most of the manufacturer's labels are obscured, it does appear to be an official National League ball that was produced for a minor-league circuit, because the stamped facsimile signature of the league president on the side panel, while not entirely legible, does not appear to be that of John Heydler. The ball is heavily soiled and appears to have been used, as evidenced by a number of moderate-to-heavy abrasions, the largest of which affects the ball label. In Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $3,555

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