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Lot # 1241 (1241 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1950s Jack Warhop Single-Signed Ball - The Man Who Served Up Ruth's First Major-League Home Run!

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $10,200

On May 6, 1915, in a game against the Boston Red Sox at the Polo Grounds, New York Highlanders pitcher Jack Warhop served up the first career home run to opposing pitcher Babe Ruth. While Warhop was probably none too happy about giving up the home run at the time, little did he realize that by doing so he forever etched his name into the annals of baseball history. (He also gave up Ruth's second career home run one month later.) Offered here is a rare Jack Warhop single-signed baseball that also includes a few additional career notations. Warhop has inscribed the side panel of this official American League (Harridge) ball in blue ink: "Jack Warhop/Yankee Pitcher/1908-1915." A slight blemish slightly affects Warhop's first name (which grades "6"), but his last name and the remainder of the text grade "8." As noted on the ball, Warhop' s career spanned eight seasons, all of which were spent with the Highlanders. A hard-luck pitcher for most of his career, his won-loss record of 69-92 was more indicative of the quality of the team playing behind him than his own performance. That assessment is supported by his 3.12 career ERA and his major league record of five 1-0 losses in a single season, which he set in 1914. Warhop died in 1960 at the age of seventy-six, long before single-signed balls became the ideal for autograph collectors, making this a rare piece of baseball history relating to Babe Ruth's legendary career (not to mention the perfect companion piece to a Ruth single). This is the first Jack Warhop single-signed ball we have ever offered and just the third we can recall ever seeing at auction. The ball displays very light toning and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA.

Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $10,200

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