2024 Summer Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/14/2024
While any Babe Ruth autographed baseball – whether team signed by the Bronx Bombers or single signed by the Bambino himself – is indeed special, the ultimate prize would be an actual Babe Ruth home run ball. That is exactly what we have here. On July 12, 1923, Ruth and the New York Yankees were in Chicago playing the White Sox. Ruth was in the midst of what many call his greatest season – .393 average and tops in the American League in home runs (43), RBI (130), walks (170) and runs (151) – as he would take home his only AL MVP award and lead the Yanks to the franchise’s first World Series Championship.

With one out in the 6th inning of that mid-season game at ole’ Comiskey Park, Ruth teed off and sent a soaring drive over the centerfield wall for a 2-run homer. The long ball was Ruth’s 20th of the season and #217 of an eventual 714 in his storied career. Ruth’s victim that afternoon was a rookie making just his second big-league appearance. Fortunately, getting taken deep by the Sultan of Swat was not the end of that youngster’s career. That rookie, Ted Lyons, would go on to become the most successful pitcher in White Sox history and, like Ruth, a future Hall of Famer. The fascinating story of this offered HR ball continues, as it was retrieved by White Sox pitcher Charlie Robertson – famous in his own right for hurling a perfect game the previous season. After Robertson took possession of Ruth’s home run ball, the pitcher got Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp, outfielder Bob Meusel, and pitcher Joe Bush to sign it in black fountain pen. On the sweet spot is “Babe Ruth Home Run #20” notated in an unknown hand – presumably by Robertson since he was the one who tracked it down in the home team’s bullpen.

The Reach OAL (Ban Johnson) baseball with red and blue stitching shows obvious game use. The leather has taken on a creamy tone from age and exhibits surface scuffs throughout. This ball has traveled from Charlie Robertson’s collection to a second owner who purchased it from Robertson’s estate (his letter included) and then to the same 1999 Guernsey’s Auction that made history with Mark McGwire’s 70th HR ball which sold for a then-record $3 million. Guernsey’s sent the ball to its new owner in a Plexiglas case (see image) with a suction tube holder that ended up damaging the ball over time – hence, the strange line visible on the ball today. However, the condition does not interfere with the historical significance and sheer uniqueness of this Babe Ruth home run ball from his lone MVP season.

Authentication: PSA/DNA Letter of Authenticity, Previous paperwork documenting the ball’s provenance, and a MEARS Letter of Authenticity.
Babe Ruth Career Home Run #217, 7/12/1923 OAL Baseball (Signed by Wally Pipp, Bob Meusel & Joe Bush) Retrieved by White Sox Pitcher Charlie Robertson with Incredible Provenance - (PSA/DNA & MEARS)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $0.00
Estimate: $15,000.00 - $30,000.00
Number Bids:0
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