An auction for an official William Harridge American League baseball autographed by Babe Ruth closes on eBay tonight. That may not be extremely unusual considering the number of Ruth balls out there. This one, though, is a little different. Amazingly, the ball appears to have survived being eaten by a dog.
Though it’s not exactly ‘mint’, it definitely has character. Innards exposed, it’s still in fair condition and about 90% of the autograph remains intact. Certified by the JSA, the ball is still generating its share of bargain hunters. With about 24 hours to go in the auction, the high bid was already over $1,500. The ball is being sold by Sports Tix ‘N More, a Thornwood, N.Y., consignment firm.
Of course, had it been taken care of, the ball could have brought in $10,000 or more. Unfortunately, since it was not, it is not likely that it will be worth much more than about a fifth of that value. Likely signed during the 1930’s by the Bambino, the ball appears to to still have a creamy white color. The signature looks to be in pretty good shape except the second “b” in Babe Ruth was missing the top portion of the “b”. Other than that, the autograph is bold, still in place and in good condition.
The leather of the ball took most of the abuse. It is missing a huge chunk of the leather above the autograph. The stitching also appears to have taken on more than average wear and tear and some of it is missing as well (perhaps thanks to the playful dog). Unfortunately, for the person that decides to take it home, displaying it will mean that even though they have official Babe Ruth memorabilia, but it will not be much to look at overall.
Since the signature has been properly authenticated, it will help the overall value. The fact that it is from the American League will also be of importance to bidders. Obviously, it is the strength of the authenticity of the Babe Ruth autograph that will make the ball a little more valuable in lieu of its appearance.
A Babe Ruth autographed piece of memorabilia is considered one of the best long-term investments on the market and as this piece proves, it doesn’t always have to be in ‘mint’ condition to be valuable. Click here to track the auction.