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Discussion Starter #1
I thought some of you might find this interesting. After my Mother-In-Law passed a bit over two years ago, my wife and her sisters began going through the mountains of stuff in the house. Stuffed in the back of a drawer in an antique dresser in a bedroom used for storage was a couple of old baseballs. A discussion between a couple of the sisters resulted in the ball not leaving the house immediately and it's being set down close to where I was sitting.

Of course, I picked it up and could not believe what I was seeing. I immdiately recognized the signatures of more than a couple of Hall of Fame players and all were VERY old. Turns out the original signature was supposedly put there almost 100 years before (now over 100 years) and that particular signature was a very valuable one. So valuable, that if left on the ball by itself, the ball would likely be worth north of $150,000. today.

But 25 years later several more signatures were added, lowering the value, but still making it a very unique baseball. Two of the charter members of the Baseball HOF have signed this ball; Babe Ruth & Christy Mathewson. This is thought to be the only baseball in existence with these two signatures. Mathewson's signature is among the most valuable ever, worth many times more than Ruth's on a single signature ball. I did a huge amount of research in the last couple years and have spoken with several memorabelia experts and auction houses. The baseball has now been put to auction (which will start soon) and we will know the ultimate sales price in mid May. Have a look at the ball (there are several pictures of the signatures) and the ad from the auction house and be sure to read the newspaper clipping (one of the pictures) from 1934 which talks about the ball and it's story. If you are a baseball fan, I think you will enjoy it!

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/auction/2011_preview/12.html
 

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Nice! Would be a cool ball for the HOF.
 

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WOW! great catch. ;D ;D ;D
 

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How cool! You would think that the added signatures would make it more valuable - especially with the newspaper clipping authenticating it. It will be interesting to see what happens at auction.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
oscarflytyer said:
Nice! Would be a cool ball for the HOF.
Actually, I did contact the HOF thinking we could "lend" it to them for a couple of years so they could display it and then make a decision about what to ultimately do with it. Unfortunately, that's not how the HOF works. The only thing they were willing to do was accept it as a gift from the family. That didn't seem to work for us, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
janott & RevDerb,
Thanks. Initially I did think the additional signatures would make the ball more valuable. But after much research, many contacts and many questions, I found out differently. Pretty much all single signature baseballs are more valuable than multi ones. A very fine example of a single signature "Ruth" could bring over $40,000. today and a single signature "Mathewson" could bring over $150,000. It will be interesting to see just how much interest is sparked by the only known baseball with both of these signatures, however.

As there are several "heirs" simply keeping it here was simply not a viable plan and because we really do not know it's true value, one of us buying it was not a doable plan either. I think it will ultimately end up with someone who can "afford" to enjoy it and not worry about protecting it. I was too nervous to display it for very long "out", as it had spent many years (50+ ?) in the dark which preserved all the very old signatures on it.

I will admit it was pretty neat simply holding it though, knowing the history and just who else had held it at one time too. :eek:
 

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WOW! Nice find 336ER! Good thing you knew something about what you were holding in your hands or else it could of ended up being thrown around by the "kids" and not worth anything! Good luck with the auction!
 

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Collectors just P-me off, they always have a way of degrading the value of what a person has and in your case it is because of dual signatures and a "one of a kind" and you have it and they don't, but they do want it. I went through the same thing with some old fashion photo's where the museum wanted them as a donation and would not pay anything, there loss not mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Rare baseball found update

The auction is about 2/3rds done now, with a bit over 5 days remaining to make bids. Our baseball has bids up to 11K as of this morning and looks to be the highest bidded baseball in the auction, thus far. There are some other very nice autographed baseballs with two single signature "Ruths" and one single signature "Gehrig" among them and up as high as $8500. It will be interesting to see how hectic it gets as the end of bidding draws near.

The highest bidded items I've seen, among the 1750 items in the auction look to be an Honus Wagner baseball card, now at $150,000., a Joe Jackson card at $130,000., a Gehrig bat at $90,000., and a Gehrig jersey at $90,000., as well.
 

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I would hold off on the bidding and not accept anything under 100K, I'm certain that someone would be willing to purchase it for that or more. Remember, this is a one of a kind, Too bad that baseball collectors like Gene Autry are not still around to buy it. In fact you might want to contact the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Burbank California, They might be interest in it, or at least give you an idea of what it is worth. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I actually did attempt contact with people such as; the owner of the S.F. Giants (N.Y. Giants moved there, of course). Barry Bonds, more money than brains?? And just about anyone else that I thought might feel a direct connection to the Giants. The simple facts are that no one buys "stuff" not offered and authenticated by the auction house experts.

There is actually no way to appraise such things. We had it looked at by a Sotheby's "expert" and he was totally, unimpressed! I still feel the ball will ultimately bring 25K and as a multi-signature baseball, that might be a record. I sure wish the original 1909 era Mathewson signature stayed the only one though. It would be $150,000.+ if that was the case...lol. ;D
 

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336ER said:
I actually did attempt contact with people such as; the owner of the S.F. Giants (N.Y. Giants moved there, of course). Barry Bonds, more money than brains?? And just about anyone else that I thought might feel a direct connection to the Giants. The simple facts are that no one buys "stuff" not offered and authenticated by the auction house experts.

There is actually no way to appraise such things. We had it looked at by a Sotheby's "expert" and he was totally, unimpressed! I still feel the ball will ultimately bring 25K and as a multi-signature baseball, that might be a record. I sure wish the original 1909 era Mathewson signature stayed the only one though. It would be $150,000.+ if that was the case...lol. ;D
Look in to the antique road show or one of those antique shows on TV and see if you could go on it and get it appraised on National TV and then others would see it and word would spread and someone would get ahold of you for it.
 

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What did it end up bringing?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Sorry, I hadn't thought to check this thread for a while. We were pretty happy with the final outcome and ended up being the 2nd most expensive signature baseball sold in this auction. I will say that I am extremely appreciative of the fact that I actually held a baseball signed by both Christy Mathewson & Babe Ruth. And also, perhaps, the only such baseball that ever existed.
 
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