Owned by the family of former minor league and New York Yankees pitcher Walt Smallwood, a fresh Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig dual signed baseball has a new home.
Smallwood, who had two brief stints with the New York Yankees in 1917 and 1919, went on to pitch 12 more seasons for various minor league teams.
It was some time during the latter part of his career when he likely snared the autographs. Smallwood never played with either of the Yankee icons.
The ball had been in the family ever since it was acquired but late last month, Smallwood’s great grandson decided to drive to New Jersey and sell it to Leighton Sheldon, owner of Just Collect.
The autographs are on an International League Ball. Smallwood spent several years in the league in the 1920s and 30s, first as a player then an executive but exactly when or where the autographs were obtained isn’t known.
According to the family, Smallwood had actually acquired a box full of balls signed by Ruth and Gehrig, but over time, the population had dwindled to two. One ball was authenticated in 2020 and the family surmised the other one would also pass authentication.
“I would love to own it for as long as possible, but we all know that can’t always be the case with every piece of history as amazing as this one,” Sheldon stated. “I understood the value of being the next caretaker of this artifact.”
Police in Nova Scotia are looking for a man who stole thousands of dollars in sports cards from a local Walmart store last month.
Lunenburg County District RCMP is distributing security images in hopes of idenifying the suspect who they say went to a store in Cookville on March 24, filled a large recycling container with boxes on a shelf, hustled out a fire exit and into a waiting car.
The theft is estimated at approximately $5 000 (about $4,000 US).
They’re looking for a white man with a tattoo on the right side of his neck. The man was wearing an “Ecko” brand hat and a plaid colored jacket. The getaway vehicle was a red or burgundy Honda Civic.
The investigation is ongoing.
While it might sound like players and their agents jump at opportunities to make some money for signing autographs, it doesn’t always happen fast. According to Fanatics executive Victor Shaffer, the company’s recent deal with Bryce Harper for signatures and some game-used gear took nine years from the time of first contact to the time the Phillies star signed on the dotted line.
Card shows are continuing to spring up all over. A crowd of several hundred and a few dozen dealers turned out at the National Guard Armory in Evansville, IN for last Saturday’s “Stoplight City Card Show.”
Meanwhile, a couple of hours west, a show in Effingham, IL is growing thanks to the efforts of a local teenager.