His autograph was magic, even long before anyone really placed a monetary value on it. Why else would the owner of a Ford Motor Company dealership stick ten baseballs away for safe keeping after Babe Ruth signed them?
The highest graded ball (PSA DNA 8.5) sold for $77,000 in the Heritage Auctions sale that also saw numerous other Ruth items sell as well as the Mookie Wilson-Bill Buckner baseball from the 1986 World Series.
Ruth visited Spencer, Iowa just a short time before he would die of cancer, signing dozens of baseballs, chatting with newspaper reporters and presenting a baseball trophy to a local winning team. It was part of his endorsement contract with Ford, which also produced a junior baseball program that Ruth was fond of.
Those eight balls don’t comprise all of the family’s original stash, though, according to this story in the Sioux City Journal.