Finest Babe Ruth baseball soars 16.43% pa at collectors convention
The finest Babe Ruth baseball was matched by the only 1927 Bambino bat in private hands
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Friday 3 August 2012
The finest Babe Ruth single signed baseball in existence has sold as joint top lot in Heritage Auctions' Vintage Sports Collectibles Platinum Night at the National Sports Collectors Convention.
Described as the hobby's most fundamental building block, every great collection begins with a Babe Ruth single signed baseball. This, the finest known example, is the definitive item for collectors. The ball first set a record in November 2004, when it sold for $115,000. It was then passed on in a private treaty for $150,000 in 2005, according to authenticator PSA.
After yesterday's (August 2) sale, it now stands at $388,375, achieving a 29.4% increase on its pre-sale estimate of $300,000. The price represents a 16.43% pa increase from its last auction sale.
The ball, graded PSA Mint+ 9.5, was consigned to auction by Stephen Stoll, son of William Stoll - a Hollywood publicist who worked on The Babe Ruth Story movie. It was gifted to Stoll's father by Babe Ruth's widow, Claire Merritt Hodgson, in thanks for his work following the completion of filming.
Up next in the sale was the "ultimate Babe Ruth artefact" - the only game-used 1927 bat in private hands. It was during the season of 1927 that the New York Yankees truly became the team we know now it to be, and the one in which Ruth cemented his personal legacy as the greatest player in history.
The bat, a signature model Hillerich & Bradsby, was one of Ruth's favourites throughout the campaign according to John Taube, a leading expert in Babe Ruth memorabilia. He made the assertion "based upon the outstanding use pattern on the left barrel and the presence of handle scoring and heavy barrel scoring, both of which are excellent Ruth characteristics". It sold for an identical sum to the signed ball, at $388,375.
Recent and related articles
· Ty Cobb baseball bat world record soars 84.6% | 12 July 2012
· Black Swamp Find baseball cards to auction for $600,000 on August 2 | 12 July 2012
Guides and analysis
Images: Heritage Auctions