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1924 Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel Signed Babe Ruth Home Run Ball!
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $3,258.75
On October 19, 1924, Babe Ruth, along with Yankees teammate Bob Meusel, traveled to Seattle, Washington, to take part in an exhibition game between two local clubs at Dugdale Park. One of the approximately 9,000 fans in attendance that day was George Moore, who was lucky enough to catch Ruth's second home run of the game (of an eventual three), which occurred in the third inning. Following the game, Moore, by virtue of his friendship with well-known Seattle Post Intelligencer sportswriter Royal Broughman, was able to go down on the field and meet Ruth and Meusel. It was there that Moore then had the players sign the ball for him. Offered here is the Babe Ruth home-run ball caught by Moore on that day, bearing the green-ink signatures of Ruth and Meusel. Each signature has been scripted, respectively, on a separate panel of a red-and-blue stitched official American League ball (League president's name no longer visible, but the stampings indicate it dates prior to 1926). Ideally it is accompanied by both a one-page notarized letter of provenance signed by Reynold Freeman, George Moore's son-in-law, and his daughter Christina Freeman, as well as a full LOA from PSA/DNA, which has certified the autographs and graded the ball "5" (both the Ruth and Meusel signatures were graded "7," while the ball was graded "3," for an overall grade of "5").
According to Moore's letter (which can be viewed on our website), this ball has been a family heirloom since the day it was acquired. In part:
My name is Reynold R. Freeman. This wonderful ball has been in my wife's family ever since it was autographed in 1924. My wife's father, George Moore was the first president of the Pulyallup's [sic] Elks club and was good friends with a sportswriter named Royal Brougham who worked for the Seattle P.I. George Moore was very well into raising funds for charity and baseball. He was encouraged to go to the the Seattle Exhibition game on October 19th 1924, and invited to the Rainier Club for a banquet by Royal Brougham....Babe Ruth was playing on the All Stars team, while his friend and fellow Yankee Bob Meusel was featured on the Southwest Timber League....While in the stands George Moore caught a home run ball from Babe Ruth in the third inning of the game...After the game ended George went down to the field and met up with Royal and had the ball he caught signed by Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel. They later met at the Rainier Club for drinks. When George died in Nov, 1930 the ball was passed to Elinor Moore his daughter whom I married June 21, 1947. Elinor and I kept the ball in our home security safe for 65 years.
While there is always a leap of faith involved when dealing with home-run or game-used balls, especially those dating from almost ninety years ago, the particular exhibition game cited by Freeman is well documented. We have found a detailed account of the game on the Seattle Post Intelligencer website (http://tinyurl.com/a2xcpou), as well as a few photos of Ruth in Seattle at the time (two of the photos, both recent prints, accompany the ball. One pictures Ruth on the field at the game, while the other pictures him signing balls for kids the following day). The Seattle Post Intelligencer article specifically mentions Ruth's three home runs and notes that over 9,000 fans attended the game. Furthermore, the article also states that Ruth and Meusel each batted twice in the order for their respective clubs, so that fans could get their money's worth (each player ended up having nine at bats in the game). We have also found a photo of George Moore at an Elks convention in 1926 (http://tinyurl.com/aln52wa) and confirmed Ruth's friendship with sportswriter Royal Brougham (http://tinyurl.com/bdmwmcn). The ball itself is consistent in appearance with one used in a game. Heavy soiling is apparent throughout, as are a number of minor abrasions. Two small areas of light discoloration are located on the Ruth signature panel.
Of course, confirmation of these facts does not "prove" anything, but it certainly supports Reynolds' account and, in our opinion, helps to make the "leap of faith" all that much smaller. Given the fact that the ball is signed by only Ruth and Meusel, both of whom were the featured attractions at the game, together with the provenance accompanying it, we would be surprised if this ball were anything but what it is purported to be: a Babe Ruth home-run ball dating from his historic exhibition game at Seattle's Dugdale Park in 1924. We should also mention that for any collector looking to add a Ruth home-run ball to his or her collection, this is probably as good as it gets in terms of provenance, outside of a letter of authenticity from Ruth himself. As such, it represents not only an extraordinary Ruth signed ball, but a wonderful conversation piece as well. Full LOA from PSA/DNA and LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $3,258.75
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