Baseball Signed by Hall of Fame Inaugural Class Auctioned Off for Record $623 K

A baseball signed by 11 of the 12 players elected into the first Baseball Hall of Fame Class in Cooperstown, New York was sold in an auction for a record high $623,369, according to SCP Auctions.

The one of a kind ball features signatures of MLB greats such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Tris Speaker, Napoleon Lajoie, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, and Grover Cleveland Alexander.

The catalog description for the ball read as follows:

“The ball remains today as stunning as it was on that June afternoon in 1939 after Owen walked it around to each Hall of Famer and asked them to sign it. Its most astonishing trait is the convergence on one side panel of what can be called the “Holy Trinity” of baseball icons: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.”

Two-time AL MVP Lou Gehrig was also inducted into this Hall of Fame class but was suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (better known as ALS) at the time which caused him to miss the ceremony, and, thus, the opportunity to sign the ball.

White Sox third baseman Marv Owen was the one who collected the signatures on the ball, later putting them in a fur-lined glove in a safe deposit box, which kept the signatures in mint condition until the former World Series champion died in 1991.

“The sheer greatness of this ball is simply unrivaled,” said SCP Auctions president David Kohler. “Its historical importance compounded by the impeccable provenance and state of preservation elevate it to singular status as the most important and valuable autographed baseball in the world. The final price certainly proved this.”

This item of memorabilia nearly doubled the previous record for an auctioned off baseball previously held by a Babe Ruth signed ball that was sold for $388,375 in 2012. However, the most money ever spent on a ball ran up to $3 million when Todd McFarlane, a well-known comic book creator and entrepreneur, purchased Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball in January of 1999.

The identity of the buyer is not yet known to the public.

 

Featured Image Via Wikimedia Commons

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