1927 Washington Senators Team-Signed Ball with Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and Tris Speaker

Sold For: $2,350

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 987

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Official American League (Johnson) ball signed in black fountain pen by Babe Ruth and approximately twenty-two members of the 1927 Washington Senators. Although a number of the signatures are very faint, Ruth's signature, which occupies its customary place of honor on the sweet spot, is one of the strongest examples on the ball and grades "6/7." Included among the remaining signatures are those of Walter Johnson (faint, "2"), Tris Speaker ("2/3"), Sam Rice, Bucky Harris (sweet spot, directly above Ruth's signature), Bump Hadley, Hod Lisenbee, Muddy Ruel, Sam West, Joe Judge, Topper Rigney, Ossie Bluege, Bob Burke, Firpo Marberry, Johnny Berger, and Bob Reeves. All of the other signatures have faded beyond legibility. Signatures range from "1" to "7," averaging "4." Although there are many baseballs signed by Babe Ruth, examples that can be dated specifically to the historic 1927 season are rare and of special note. Outside of 1927 New York Yankees team-signed balls, which are not only very rare, but are prohibitively expensive for the average collector, we cannot recall seeing more than just a few other examples that can be definitively dated precisely to 1927. This signed ball, while far from being an overall high-grade example, features a better-than-average Ruth signature, as well as the signatures of Walter Johnson and Tris Speaker, and is an outstanding memento dating from the most significant season of Ruth's career. The ball has been coated with a layer of protective shellac and displays a 1.5-inch tear on the panel bearing the Reach logo which transverses the seams and touches upon the adjacent panel as well (though fortunately not affecting any of the signatures). The tear is serious but as can be seen does not impact display value. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,350

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