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Babe practically invented the autographed ball. At the very least, he re-invented it. So-called "Trophy Balls" from the latter 19th century were the first to feature names, usually of a game's victors or the presenter who was gifting a ball to the victors, and usually printed rather than signed. Over time, printed names evolved into signatures, and once Ruth burst on the scene—embracing fan adulation, signing like a master craftsman, staking a claim to the sweet spot as his personal real estate—there would be no turning back. It was only a matter of time before ballplayers began charging fees and even refusing to sign unless there was payment involved. As for Ruth, he just signed for the pleasure of it, and for the joy it brought his myriad admirers.
That very enthusiasm is resplendent in this beautifully crafted specimen. The capital "B" is proudly bulbous like Babe's belly; the lower-case "b" rises high like a ship's sturdy mast; the "R" loops forward like a tossed lasso; and the cross of the "t" pierces through the "h" like an archer's arrow. The bold blue-ink signature rates "8" in strength and appears on a a red-and-blue seamed ONL ball with moderate toning and wear noticeable mainly on the east panel and opposite sweet spot. Babe's script itself is practically unaffected by surrounding toned areas. The ball's black stampings are bold and 80% intact, while N.L. President John Heydler's red stamp remains legible on the side panel. LOA from JSA.
Babe Ruth 1930s Single Signed ONL (Heydler) Ball
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