Circa 1928 Babe Ruth Signed Baseball with Knute Rockne and "Pop" Warner

Sold For: $1,998

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1725

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Baseball signed in black fountain pen by three of the top sports personalities of the "Roaring Twenties": Babe Ruth, Knute Rockne, and Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner. Ruth's signature, as is customary, sits upon the sweet spot and is the strongest of the three, grading "5/6." Rockne's signature (grading "2") appears on the north panel, while Warner's, signed "Glenn S. Pop Warner" (grading "2/3") is located on the south panel. In addition to being signed by three of the most famous sports figures of the twentieth century, this ball also has a unique and interesting provenance. It was originally obtained during the late 1920s by our consignor's grandfather, Sidney Leon, who worked as an advertising executive in New York City. One of Mr. Leon's first accounts was the Benruss Watch Company. At that time Babe Ruth was the primary spokesperson for Benruss, and the company even produced a special "Babe Ruth" watch that retailed for $39.95. According to family lore, one of Mr. Leon's main duties on the account was that of company liaison to Ruth. Specifically, it was his job to wine and dine the Babe, and to keep him happy during the course of the campaign. It was in that capacity that he came to receive this ball. One day Mr. Leon arrived at Yankee Stadium to pick Ruth up for one of their "business dinners," but before leaving Ruth introduced him to two of his visiting friends: Knute Rockne, head football coach of Notre Dame, and "Pop" Warner, head football coach of Stanford. At the time, Rockne and Warner were already legends, and considered to be the two greatest football coaches of their era. After the introductions, Ruth asked Leon if he had any sons. When he responded in the affirmative, Ruth signed a ball for him and then had Rockne and Warner sign it as well. The ball has been in our consignor's family since that time. Needless to say, this is the first ball we have ever seen signed by these three sport legends and it may possibly be unique. The red-and-blue stitched ball, which is darkly toned, has been coated with a thin layer of protective shellac (a standard practice of the era). Although all of the manufacturer's stampings are no longer visible, given its provenance, it seems almost certain that it is an official American League ball. In Good to Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+.> SOLD FOR $1,998

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