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1924 Babe Ruth Inscribed and Dated Ball
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $4,112.50
This official American League (Johnson) ball has been both inscribed and dated by Babe Ruth. In addition to Ruth’s inscription the ball also displays the signatures of Al Munro Elias and Walter B. Elias, the founders of the Elias Sports Bureau. Ruth has inscribed the ball in black fountain pen, “To Mrs. Walter C. Lynch from ‘Babe’ Ruth - June 23rd 1924.” Both the inscription and signature grade “6” overall. Ruth's signature is ideally placed. Ruth's personalization begins on the West panel, and because of the manner in which he has inscribed the ball (two lines of inscription, one on top of the other), his signature sits squarely in the center of the sweet spot, just below the recipient’s name which he has penned as part of the salutation. The black fountain pen signatures of both Elias brothers (grading “5/6”) appear together on the South panel. Ideally, the signatures of the Elias brothers are low enough on the panel that the ball can be displayed as a Ruth single if so desired. The Elias brothers are very significant to baseball history in their own right as they are the founders of The Elias Sports Bureau, the official statisticians of Major League Baseball. In 1913, Al Munro Elias and his brother Walter established the Al Munro Elias Bureau in New York City. Al Munro was such a huge baseball fan that he began keeping track of statistics in the National League. Through the years sportswriters began using his information. In 1922, National League president John Heydler hired Elias to aid him in record-keeping. Several years later, Elias Sports Bureau became the full-time baseball statistician for the National League, and the American League soon followed suit. Based upon the date, this ball was almost certainly signed by Ruth and the Elias brothers at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees lost both games of a double header that day to the eventual league champion Washington Senators. Ruth enjoyed another banner season in 1924, ultimately leading the league in home runs (46) and batting average (.378). While the former achievement was par for the course for Ruth during that decade, the latter marked the only batting title of his illustrious career. The red-and-blue stitched ball is lightly soiled and displays a few tiny spots of light age toning. All of the manufacturer’s stampings, including Ban Johnson’s facsimile signature on the side panel, remain crisp and bold. This is a special and extremely attractive ball with a tremendous Ruth salutation, and also a great rarity for a Ruth-signed ball from this era to be dated in Ruth's hand. In Very Good to Excellent condition. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3000+. SOLD FOR $4,112.50
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