Presented is one of the most spectacular, high-grade Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed baseballs in existence. This majestic example dates to circa 1927, the magical year in which the fame and lore associated with the 1927 Yankees has elevated the club and its players to a status enjoyed by few sports teams in history. Graded NM-MT 8 by PSA/DNA, the Ruth signature is a virtually unimprovable MINT 9 and the Gehrig signature is a stunning NM-MT 8. A conservative ball grade of '7' results in the overall NM-MT 8 assessment by PSA.
This is one of the finest Ruth/Gehrig balls in the hobby! It is surpassed only by a single example graded NM-MT+ 8.5 by PSA/DNA. Many collectors will remember that NM-MT+ example because it set a record price for a Ruth/Gehrig ball at auction when it realized $343,650 as one of the featured items in REA's Spring 2013 sale. What is most important to note is that the record-setting ball received the EXACT same grades for the Ruth and Gehrig signatures, and the EXACT same grade for the ball, as the ball offered here. PSA/DNA, in its discretion at the time (2005), decided to award the record-setting 8.5 ball an extra half point for a eye appeal (which is allowed, as clearly stated in its grading guidelines). Why PSA/DNA chose not to do likewise with regard to this ball is a mystery to us, because having now had the benefit of handling both, we can unequivocally state that they are essentially identical in our eyes. We simply cannot imagine a finer Ruth/Gehrig ball. Both signatures "jump" off the creamy white surface. The placement of the blue fountain-pen signatures is also ideal. Ruth's signature sits upon its customary place of honor along the sweet spot, while Gehrig's appears on the adjacent side panel to the left, but in a position where both signatures can be seen together when properly displayed. It is impossible not to be immediately struck by the incredible overall appearance of this ball!
The ball, which is a Worth "Official League" baseball, presents with all of the manufacturer's stampings bold and distinct. While we are unable to conclusively pinpoint the ball's year of manufacture based upon its stampings, we can say, with certainty, that the ball dates to the 1920s. That fact is made apparent by the quotation marks bracketing the "Babe" portion of Ruth's signature. Ruth ended that practice sometime during the late 1920s, and it is universally accepted today that any ball signed by Ruth in that manner predates 1930. Although purely speculation, it is more than likely that this ball was signed in either 1927 or 1928, when Ruth and Gehrig embarked on their now famous "Bustin' Babe's" and "Larrupin' Lou's" postseason barnstorming tours. Regardless of the circumstances of its signing, the ball remains a paragon of autograph perfection and one that would please even the most discriminating collecting. Extraordinary in all respects and worthy of any world-class Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees, or signed-baseball collection. Full LOAs from PSA/DNA and James Spence/JSA. Please note Beckett Authentication Services declined to write a letter on this piece. Reserve $25,000. Estimate (open).