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Lot # 783 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Babe Ruth, Frank Baker, and Carl Hubbell Signed Ball

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,900

Official American League (Johnson) ball signed in black fountain pen by Babe Ruth and Frank "Home Run" Baker, and in blue fountain pen by Carl Hubbell. The signatures of Ruth (grading "4") and Baker ("4/5") appear together on the south panel, while Hubbell's ("4/5") is located on the sweet spot. This is an unusual combination of Hall of Fame signatures to say the least. While we do not have all the information regarding the precise history of its signing, it appears with some degree of certainty that the signatures of Ruth and Baker were acquired first and at the same time, with Hubbell added years later. That supposition is based upon what we do know. Ruth and Baker were teammates on the New York Yankees in 1921 and 1922. Since the ball dates from the 1918-1924 manufacturing period, is signed by Ruth and Baker in the same ink, and Ruth's signature features quotation marks around "Babe" (a practice used by him only during the early part of his career), it is a virtual certainty that it was signed by Baker and Ruth in the early twenties, most likely at a Yankees game. Hubbell did not break into in the majors until 1928, so if the ball were signed by Ruth and Baker during their time together with the Yankees, Hubbell's signature could only have been added years later. The fact that Hubbell's signature is in a different ink is consistent with this reasoning. Regardless of its origin, the rare combination of Ruth and Baker together on a side panel all alone makes it an especially desirable and attractive autograph rarity and display piece. The ball is moderately toned, with a number of abrasions throughout, including a few that touch upon the signatures. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain clearly legible. In Very Good condition overall. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,900

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