The only Ty Cobb autographed baseball to carry a PSA 10 grade is up for sale through Heritage Auctions with bidding expected to easily reach six figures by the time bidding closes next weekend.
The ball carries Cobb’s blue ink signature and his handwritten date of a visit to St. Louis: 11/24/53.
Carefully preserved, the ball dates to a Thanksgiving week visit by Cobb to the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company where he met a young advertising manager named Ralph Horton. A veteran who had just returned from the Korean War, Horton kept the ball for over 40 years and the auction listing includes his 1995 letter of authenticity to the original recipient. Horton died in 1998. The ball was authenticated by PSA in 2006 and remains the lone Cobb “10” baseball in existence.
The pre-sale estimate is $300,000 or more.
It’s not the only unique ball in the Platinum Night Auction, though. The hot market for Mickey Mantle signed baseballs gets a new entry in the form of another PSA 10 Mantle ball. The blue-ink signature includes an inscription “MVP 56,57,62” in Mantle’s hand. Dating to the last few years of Mantle’s life, it is the only Mantle signed ball with that specific inscription ever graded 10 and is expected to bring $15,000 or more.
Part of the grade of an autographed baseball is for the ball itself and only a limited number of balls produced during that era have been known to carry high grades for a variety of reasons.
The two baseballs will be sold in the August 17 session of the two-night event.