1938 New York Yankees World Champions Team-Signed Ball with Babe Ruth

Sold For: $3,259

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 830

Item Year: 1938

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Spalding "Official Joe DiMaggio League Ball" signed in black fountain pen by Babe Ruth and twenty-three members of the 1938 World Champion New York Yankees. Ruth's signature, which is by far the boldest signature on the ball, dominates a side panel, grading "9/10." Of the remaining twenty-three signatures, ten have been identified by JSA as classic "clubhouse" versions from the era: Gehrig (sweet spot), DiMaggio, Dickey, Gordon, Gomez, Chandler, Hadley, Knickerbocker, Andrews, and Pearson. The thirteen player signatures on the ball are those of Ruffing, Jorgens, Crosetti, Henrich, Sundra, Hoag, Beggs, Murphy, Selkirk, Glenn, Dahlgren, Powell, and Rolfe. With the exception of Ruth, signatures range from "3" to "8," averaging "6." This is a most unusual ball in that it is rare to find Ruth on Yankees team balls dating from the time of his retirement. The fact that Ruth's signature is partially scripted over the Spalding logo, and is much bolder than all the other signatures, indicates that he almost certainly signed it at a later date. The Yankees captured a then-record third consecutive World Championship in 1938, which also marked the last full season of Lou Gehrig's fabled career. The ball is lightly toned and displays a few small areas of light discoloration. In Excellent condition overall. Despite the many clubhouse signatures, the exceptional Ruth example makes this a special ball and one that is perfect for display. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $3,259

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