Circa 1922 Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel Signed Ball

Sold For: $2,938

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 996

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Circa 1920s D&M "Official League Ball" signed in black fountain pen by Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, and one other individual. Ruth's signature, as is customary, resides on the sweet spot and grades "5" or "6." This ball features a particularly attractive Ruth signature and is ideal for display. Meusel's signature is located on the side panel directly above that of Ruth's and grades "5." A third signature, which is partially illegible, is scripted on a separate panel and appears to read "Geo. L. B__er." Below the signature is the notation "Mayor." While there is no way of knowing exactly when this ball was signed, the fact that Ruth has bracketed the "Babe" portion of his signature in quotes suggests that it dates from the early to mid 1920s. (Ruth stopped signing his name in that manner sometime around 1927.) Ruth and Meusel were the league's top slugging tandem during that period; however, balls signed by just the two of them are rare and this is the first example we can recall having seen. It's interesting to note that Ruth and Meusel were both suspended by Judge Landis for the first six weeks of the 1922 season for having taken part in a barnstorming tour following the 1921 World Series. (At the time, World Series participants were forbidden to take part in post-season tours.) While purely speculation, it is possible that this ball originates from one of the stops on that infamous tour, with the third signature representing that of the town's mayor. The red-and-blue stitched ball is moderately toned and has been coated with a thin layer of protective shellac that displays a few minor chips and abrasions. All of the manufacturer's labels are bold and legible. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,938

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