Spring 2019 Premium Auction Closing May 11
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/12/2019

Collectors always say “buy the piece and not the story,” but sometimes the story’s so good it has to be told. Take this ball for example. At first glance, it’s a very nice example of Babe Ruth’s autograph. A closer look and you see it is on a 1935 Spalding Official National League Ford Frick ball. Now it gets interesting as Ruth played just two months for the Boston Braves in 1935 before he retired, making this one of last balls the Babe signed as a player. Now we get to the story part. This ball was squirreled away in a shoebox for decades before it was recovered by the original owner’s family. According to the family, Joe and Helen Lakata of Coaldale, Pennsylvania caught this ball off the bat of Babe Ruth at a game in 1935. They waited outside the player’s entrance and had the Babe sign it, creating a conversation piece the likes of Coaldale had never seen before. The ball was then packed away in a shoebox where Helen found it in 2005. It took some digging, but it appears that the only game Helen and Joe could have feasibly attended in 1935 would have been a weekend Braves game in Philadelphia. A look at the 1935 schedule reveals that the only possibility is the May 30 game at the Baker Bowl - the Babe’s final game! Though no home run was hit by Ruth that afternoon, this may have been a foul ball or batting practice homer. Regardless, this is a nice example of a 1935 Babe Ruth ball, story or no story. The ball shows some toning from age and shellac with abrasion scuffs throughout, though this does not affect the Babe’s black fountain pen signature. The ball comes with a LOA from MEARS for the game use and a signed letter of provenance from the Lakata family, plus a LOA from JSA (B14027) for the signature.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $5,700.00
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Sunday, May 12, 2019.
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