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Lot # 918 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1918 Babe Ruth Signed Baseball

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,233

This official American League (Johnson) ball once featured approximately nineteen signatures, nearly all of which have since faded beyond legibility. Fortunately, one of the four signatures that can be clearly read is that of Babe Ruth! Ruth's black fountain-pen signature appears on a side panel, just above the stamped facsimile signature of Ban Johnson, and grades "4." This is an extremely early Ruth signed ball! The remaining three legible signatures, all of which are penned in black fountain pen, are those of Tris Speaker (sweet spot, "3"), Joe Wood ("2"), and Guy Morton ("6"). The dating of this ball is purely speculative, but it appears to have been signed during the late teens, at which time Ruth was a member of the Red Sox and Speaker, Wood, and Morton were teammates with Cleveland. If that dating is correct, then this may be a Cleveland team ball that includes Ruth. Guy Morton spent his entire eleven-year career with Cleveland (1914-1924), while Ruth was with Boston from 1914 (briefly) through 1919. Speaker was with Boston from 1907 through 1915 and then with Cleveland from 1916 through 1926. Wood too first played with Boston (1908-1915) before finishing his career with the Indians (1916-1922). The ball itself dates from the 1910 through 1925 manufacturing period. This ball originates from a noncollector and has been in our consignor's family these past ninety or so years. Any and all Ruth signed items dating from his tenure with Boston are rare, making this an exciting new discovery. The ball is moderately toned, with a few areas of discoloration, and numerous surface abrasions. Although the ball is in Fair to Good condition, the Ruth signature rests on the least affected panel and displays remarkably well. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $2,233

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