The value of sports memorabilia wasn’t on the radar when John Engel received a box of items from a neighbor in the late 1960s.
Inside the box of clothes and other items were two baseballs signed by members of the Milwaukee Braves a few years earlier. They had belonged to the woman’s son who had grown up and was serving in the U.S. military in Vietnam.
While Engel appreciated them even though the team had left for Atlanta, his father didn’t have quite the same attachment to those baseballs. One of them wound up being used for a few games. It survived, though, as did another that not only bore Hank Aaron’s autograph but may have been one of his 755 career home runs.
Recently, Engel decided to turn those baseballs back over to the guy who originally owned them. Peter Ritz had moved a couple hours north but the two finally got to see each other again. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the story.