Dating it to its Irrefutable July 10, 1947 Signing on "Babe Ruth Day" in Houston, TX! - PSA 10 AUTO LOA
The incomparable George Herman "Babe" Ruth has set the ultimate benchmark for all of his peers to be measured against, substantiating why he stands tall as the embodiment of a National Hero. The late CBS Commentator Heywood Hale Broun once so eloquently noted: "Every now and then some athlete is touched for a moment with a kind of higher level of greatness which they may never achieve again, but at that moment, they were more than life allows - such was Babe Ruth's impact on baseball."
No truer words were ever spoken, and they ring loud and clear with hobbyists who actively pursue the finest possible Ruth collectibles. That said, we cannot imagine a finer "Colossus of Swat" artifact to capture than one of his premier single-signed baseballs that ironically sports the perfect PSA "10" assessment. To the best of our knowledge, only three collections in the world can claim to feature a PSA Authenticated GEM MINT 10 Babe Ruth autograph on a horsehide sphere. Only one of those three intensely sought-after baseballs, the very one featured here, rises above the others because of one key word - "provenance."
In today's sports collecting and investing world, the "provenance" concept impacts value as much as perfect centering impacts the value of a vintage card. The unique provenance of this ball creates a supreme, unprecedented, and frankly unrivaled level of confidence in its authenticity beyond the awarded 10 GEM MINT grade. Its wonderful story dates back to July 10, 1947 on "Babe Ruth Day" in Houston Texas, roughly 13 months before the great Bambino's death, when a weakening Babe Ruth dedicated his time to touring America in support of boys' American Legion Baseball. That year, young athletes across America were able to witness Babe's megawatt personality and passion for the country's pastime, even as this icon battled throat cancer each and every day.
The Babe was named National Director of American Legion Baseball, which was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company. Ford dealers supplied uniforms for their local teams, and Ford dealers sponsored luncheons and events where Babe would speak to and inspire the boys. In that year, 1947, Ruth made seven trips for American Legion Baseball that created a seemingly countless number of treasured moments as well as an abundance of his prized memorabilia. Offered here is one of those "once in a lifetime" pieces, created by The Babe on "Babe Ruth Day" in Houston, Texas on July 10, 1947, and in a fitting turn of fate, this ball now stands as an unparalleled opportunity for the collecting community.
Simply put, only a single collection will be able to lay claim to the most aesthetically pleasing and ironclad single-signed Babe Ruth baseball on the planet. To truly grasp this offering's earth-shattering significance, consider for a moment the infinite number of signed Ruth balls in existence, with Ruth's best friend Waite Hoyt definitively claiming he must have seen "The Babe" sign over 10,000 baseballs for his captivated fan base. Now, consider that only three have a GEM MINT PSA 10 signature, with this Cooperstown-worthy single-signed heirloom the only one of those existing three that can be traced to a precise date and location where it was signed! Indeed, no other PSA 10 Ruth ball can lay claim to such enormous provenance with countless media and newspaper reports from the time completely corroborating its irrefutable provenance.
Let's turn back the clock some 75 years ago to July 10, 1947, at Buffalo Stadium in Houston, Texas, where there was a Texas League game between the Houston Buffaloes and Fort Worth. The game ended in a 1-1 tie after eleven innings, and it was at this specific game that Babe Ruth signed this glorious Texas League baseball directly across the sweet spot! Furthermore, in classic Ruthian style, he signed it in near-perfect fashion. So bold and beautiful that the iconic "Babe Ruth" dark blue fountain pen signature can still be viewed literally across a room. Although stricken with throat cancer, his hand was steady in that particular moment, allowing the 'Sultan of Swat" to script what is arguably his finest signature on any surviving baseball. The circumstances were perfect, to create the finest example of the stylish, beloved, and immortal "Babe Ruth" signature. The ball itself is in fantastic condition, with the tight red stitching, white horsehide leather, and bold Texas League stamping all revealing a majority of their original factory-issued attributes. The magic carpet ride certainly does not end here, for what thankfully also happened in that moment to create the ironclad provenance and authenticity that collectors truly seek is that the original owner of the ball wrote the precise date, location and game results on this very ball, thereby locking it into history. It is this key extra writing that is of supreme importance, as it allows the ball to be traced to that very day - July 10, 1947 - at that very location - Houston's "Buffalo Stadium." The South Panel reveals the following penned script: "Houston, Texas - 7-10-47 - Buffalo Stadium," while the game's results are neatly scripted on the North panel: "Game between Houston & Fort Worth - 1 to 1 - 11 innings."
These additional inscriptions are momentous to say the least, for they allow us to match the ball to many other key pieces of historical evidence from Ruth's visit that day to Houston on "Babe Ruth Day", in support of Boys' American Legion Baseball. In fact, our MLI website includes images of a July 10, 1947 Luncheon Menu from the Houston, Texas Rice Hotel (in the South American Room), with the program honoring George Herman "Babe" Ruth on that very same day. It is this menu that provides the "final piece" of the undisputed provenance puzzle, for Babe Ruth obviously attended the luncheon in his honor and then proceeded to Buffalo Stadium to watch the minor league affiliate contest. Interestingly enough, Buffalo Stadium was located only 4 miles from the Rice Hotel, with both of these bygone facilities no longer existing (the historic Rice Hotel closed its doors to the public in 1977 before reopening under a different name some 21 years later, while the original Buffalo Stadium was demolished in 1963). A PSA GEM MINT 10 assessment would normally end the conversation, obviously placing the value of this ball at a staggering level. The breathtaking eye appeal would also take this ball to a further level, and yet, this ball's seemingly infinite number of superlatives read on in unending fashion like a Santa Claus gift list, with its highly coveted stature soaring towards stratospheric heights synonymous to a majestic Ruthian blast. For along with the hallowed PSA 10 grade and unprecedented aesthetics, we have the aforementioned supporting evidence/provenance that remove any doubt of Ruth having scripted it on July 10, 1947. The "checks and balances" process starts with the Texas League signed baseball. If you are a discerning collector who demands provenance and authenticity in addition to a GEM MINT grade, you would begin by noting the ball was signed at a Texas League game. You would therefore assume the ball would have to be a Texas League ball, with the specific "Official Texas League" black stamp boldly affixed to the ball's opposite side sweet spot substantiating that notion - indeed, it is a Texas League ball.
Next, the aforementioned luncheon program honoring Babe Ruth from that very day provides additional justification that "The Babe" was undeniably in Houston, Texas on July 10, 1947, with that specific date included on the program sponsored by the Houston Ford Dealers for American Legion youth baseball. We cannot stress enough, how powerful and unique it is for a Ruth baseball with such a magnificent GEM MINT 10 signature, to also possess this degree of provenance and authenticity. Not only is this the boldest and most imposing of all three Ruth 10 signatures on a baseball, this unfathomable single-signed treasure also provides the owner with an unprecedented level of substance and confidence. This spectacular memento speaks to Babe Ruth's connection to America's boys. It is truly a connection to an era when heroes felt an obligation to our Nation's youth and America's Pastime. The Babe was battling cancer, yet due to his enduring love and passion for the kids who worshiped him in unbridled fashion, he refused to disappoint his enthralled fan base. Based on the unparalleled strength and eloquence of his sanctified autograph on this single-signed July 10, 1947 marvel, he obviously gave it his all, hitting this autograph out of the park in similar fashion to one of his mammoth blasts that could literally breach the confines of Yellowstone Park. The hobby evolves, for there was a time when a signature on a card was not desired, and now that time has passed us by. Today, signed vintage cards — led by signed Goudey Ruths — command hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Similarly, there was a time when a signed baseball was preferred to have only the signature, or to be a certain type of ball. That time, too, is gone - in the face of this truly "one-of-one" ball, whose matchless eye appeal and extra writing creates provenance, authenticity, and historical context the likes of which the collecting community has never seen. When an owner looks at their PSA 10 GEM MINT Ruth signed baseball, they ideally want to see more than the grade. The passionate enthusiast carries an unquenchable thirst for a glimpse of the past, transcending time to the date and place Ruth signed the baseball, for a supreme level of confidence in the provenance and authenticity that rarely surfaces in our hobby. Now, courtesy of Memory Lane and our esteemed consignor, this "far-fetched dream" can become a bona fide reality, with the potential winning bidder emulating the incomparable Ruth himself by hitting a homer of their own via claiming ownership of this incredible scripted keepsake. Glancing at this horse-hide sphere immediately rewards its viewer with a wealth of sunshine, pushing the sun high up into the heavens to give the enamored fan one more "blue sky - green grass" day of summer. While we cannot pinpoint its ultimate value, we can point to one of the other PSA 10 single-signed Ruth balls that is "PERSONALIZED" and fetched a staggering $184,000 at a public auction several years ago. With that in mind, what is the true value of a single-signed "NON-PERSONALIZED" PSA 10 Babe Ruth autographed baseball that just happens to include unequivocal provenance from the one and only "Babe Ruth Day" in Houston, TX. on July 10, 1947? We will defer to you, the sophisticated collector, to ultimately answer that question and determine the final price tag of this extraordinary heirloom, with its fortunate new owner immediately recapturing the splendor of their bygone youth via a simple final bid!
MIN BID $25,000