How much is Babe Ruth’s last home run ball worth? We’ll soon find out in Memory Lane’s March 30 auction. The ball is from an exhibition game held on Aug. 23, 1942, at Yankee Stadium. What makes it even more special is that Walter Johnson was the pitcher and Ruth, Johnson and umpire Billy Evans have all signed it.
The history and authenticity of the ball are also as good as it gets. MEARS has authenticated the official American League Reach ball (Harding) as consistent with Reach manufacturing from 1942-45 and that of an exhibition event and also points out the bruised area where contact with the bat was made. The signatures are authenticated by James Spence, PSA/DNA and Global Authentication. The ball also comes with a full eyewitness account of the event and of getting the ball from the person who owned it for 53 years before giving it to his grandson and a detailed “Letter of Witness and Accounting” is included with the ball and signed by Robert J. Bathazar, the eyewitness and it is fully notarized. The ball carries a minimum bid of $25,000.
Memory Lane is mostly known for high-end graded cards and this auction doesn’t disappoint. The have the one and only 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 10 (minimum bid of $20,000) and one of only two 1949 Bowman Roy Campanella PSA 10s ($10,000) in existence.
Other headlining singles include: 1916 M101-4 Sporting News Joe Jackson PSA 8 (one of only two, minimum bid $10,000); 1933 Goudey Ruth No. 181 PSA 8 ($5,000); 1915 Cracker Jack Johnson PSA 8 ($3,500); 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams PSA 9 ($10,000); 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle GAI 10 ($10,000); 1954 Topps Ernie Banks PSA 9 ($4,000); 1956 Topps Mantle PSA 9 ($2,500) and a 1948 Bowman Stan Musial PSA 9 ($3,500).
“We have a lot of high-grade, low-population cards, along with plenty of sets, packs, cut signatures and more,” said J.P. Cohen of Memory Lane. “And everything is graded and authenticated.”
Some of the premier graded singles are: 1948 Leaf Ruth PSA 8; 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig PSA 8; 1934 Goudey Jimmie Foxx PSA 8; 1939 PlayBall Joe DiMaggio PSA 8; 1939 PlayBall Williams PSA 8; 1968 Topps Joe Morgan PSA 10; 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan GAI 9; 1965 Topps Mantle PSA 9; 1957 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 9; 1953 Bowman Color Pee Wee Reese PSA 9; 1948 Leaf Williams PSA 8; 1950 Bowman Roy Campanella PSA 9; 1953 Bowman Color Mantle GAI 8; and a 1956 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 9.
Autographs are also a big part of Memory Lane’s auction, with a variety of Ruth-signed items led by a single-signed ball with a huge, bold signature that carries a minimum bid of $10,000. In addition: a signed store model bat; vintage photo with a PSA 10 signature; cancelled check with PSA 10 signature; a double-signed cancelled check; and another Ruth check with a PSA 9 signature.
Other signatures include: a Foxx (and boxer Dan Kelly) signed baseball; 1970 Pittsburgh Pirates team-signed ball with Clemente; 1939 American League All-Star team-signed ball with Gehrig, Foxx, Johnson, DiMaggio, Dickey, etc.; Ty Cobb signed check, PSA 10; Casey Stengel signed check, PSA 10; Vince Lombardi signed check, PSA 10; Vince Lombardi double-signed check; Robinson signed check, PSA 9; Clemente signed check, PSA 9; Pete Maravich signed check, PSA 9; Walter Johnson cut signature, PSA 9; Grover Alexander cut signature PSA 10; Mel Ott cut, PSA 9; Honus Wagner postcard PSA 10; and Rogers Hornsby postcard PSA 10.
There’s even a Clemente game-used bat from the 1970s authenticated by PSA/DNA and a Cal Ripken Jr. 1981 game-used road jersey authenticated by Grey Flannel.
For more information or to place a bid, call (877) 606-5263 (LANE), or visit the website at www.memorylaneinc.com.