The most iconic signature in baseball history is generally considered to be that of Babe Ruth. And a signed Babe Ruth baseball is about as good as it gets. These are easily recognizable, and oddly enough they really are not all that scarce. They will still cost you more than a pretty penny. In fact, most Babe Ruth signed balls now sell for $10,000 or more – some exponentially more.
Collectors Dashboard evaluates collectibles as an alternative asset class. The same capital that could have been invested into stocks or bonds is being used to buy high-end collectibles. True sports collectors and hobbyists have a passion to own certain cards or memorabilia for quite a long time. The investor class in collectibles is solely buying an asset to sell at a later date for a profit. This keeps collectors and investors in a constant battle for who can win in auctions.
Unless you’re the main kid from the movie: The Sandlot, then you know what his signature on a baseball looks like. Spoiler alert: the kid uses his step-dad’s signed Babe Ruth baseball as a quick replacement for a game of sandlot baseball. Collectors Dashboard wanted to see what’s available and for what prices in 2022.
In this search, we evaluated eBay sales, as well as Heritage Auctions and Goldin. Another source was also evaluated. Buyers need to understand that there are many replicas and forgeries that have been created to catch an unsuspecting buyer, so authentication is an absolute must when it comes to buying any signed baseballs (or anything else signed too!) by Babe Ruth. Should Babe’s signature be worth more than George Washington (that President did not sign any baseballs) or the other way around?
Collectors Dashboard only looked at Babe Ruth baseballs that had been authenticated. Here are recent sales from eBay:
- Babe Ruth autographed baseball with a letter of authentication PSA/DNA sold February 2, 2022 for $7,200.00 after 10 bids.
- Babe Ruth autographed baseball with a letter of authentication by Beckett sold January 18, 2022 for $5,900.00 after 17 bids.
- 1932 Yankees team signed baseball with Babe Ruth Lou Gehrig and 21 more PSA/DNA sold January 4, 2022 for $5,150.00 after 3 bids.
- 1926 Babe Ruth signed baseball with a letter of authentication sold December 16, 2021 for $4,057.00 after 46 bids.
Heritage Auctions had these recent sales, although they have sold many baseballs, often the same ball, over the years:
- 1948 Babe Ruth autographed baseball with 1998 letter of provenance sold November 20, 2021 for $4,320.00 after 29 bids.
- 1924 single-signed Babe Ruth baseball sold for $23,400.00 after 32 bids (image below by Heritage Auctions).
- 1945 Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb & Carl Hubbell Multi-Signed “All-American Game” Baseball from The Al Kaline Collection sold for $51,600.00 after 55 bids.
The website www.baberuthautographs.com has these three authenticated baseballs available:
- Babe Ruth signed Pacific Coast League baseball with a letter of authenticity PSA/DNA for $9,995.00 Image below by BabeRuthAutographs.com).
- Babe Ruth signed Harridge baseball with a letter of authentication PSA 7 for $39,000.00.
- 1930 Babe Ruth official American League Baseball with letter of authenticity PSA/DNA for $4,995.00.
Many collectors want to own the Babe Ruth signature. The iconic legend that is Babe Ruth transcends other areas of collecting. The provenance and authentication of the signature are major concerns for the value of the ball. This is not investing advice just observation in the attention one signed baseball vs another gets in the form of bids. It has to be a wonder if Babe Ruth knew the value he was giving to the public so long after his death. After all, Babe would sign just about anything for people — particularly kids!
Collectors owe just as much thanks to the 1933 Goudy set as they do to Babe’s generosity with a pen!
This is an example of a signed ball that was for sale at the 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention. That ball was for sale with a list price of $79,995.00.
If you are ever curious to know just how many signed baseballs and index cards and photos there are of Babe Ruth, no one can say for sure. What they can say is that it’s a lot. A whole lot, and Forbes and Collectors Universe have photos of Babe Ruth signing multiple balls (images not displayed over license issues).