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Lot # 872 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1920s Multi-Signed Baseball Including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig On Same Panel

Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $3,525.00

This multi-signed ball, which appears to date from the late 1920s, is highlighted not only by the inclusion of Ruth and Gehrig, but by the ideal positioning of their signatures together on a side panel. Ruth's signature, which is flawlessly scripted in blue fountain pen, is the strongest signature on the ball, grading a perfect "10." Gehrig's signature, which sits directly below Ruth's, has also been penned in blue fountain pen and grades "6." An additional thirty-three signatures, in both blue and black fountain pen, are present on the ball, including those of George Sisler, Earle Combs, Rabbit Maranville, Bob Meusel, Lyn Lary, Mark Koenig, Henry Johnson, Joe Dugan, Hank Gowdy, Pat Collins, Jack Smith, Zack Taylor (sweet spot), Bobby Smith (sweet spot), Ben Cantwell, Art Delaney, and Earl Clark (twice). Many of the other names have faded beyond legibility. Not taking into account the badly faded examples, signatures range from "4" to "10," averaging "5/6." Balls featuring the signatures of Ruth and Gehrig together on a side panel are exceedingly rare, for Ruth's signature is nearly always found on the sweet spot. The fact that their signatures sit together here on this ball does not seem to be by chance. It's most probable, based upon the different inks used and various signature strengths, that the signatures on this ball were obtained over a period of time. Gehrig and the other players on that panel clearly signed at the same time, and we can be certain that this was earlier than Ruth signed because Ruth's remarkably bold signature covers another signature. Given the evidence, it seems highly probable that the original owner specifically asked Ruth to sign where he did strictly for display purposes. The result is one of the very few signed balls known to exist to feature the signatures of both Ruth and Gehrig on the same panel. The red-and-black stitched ball is darkly toned as a result of the shellac and displays a few tiny abrasions (not affecting any of the significant signatures). None of the manufacturer's stampings are visible. Very Good condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $3,525.00


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