It was signed by 11 of the 12 inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame inductees
What’s the most valuable autographed baseball?
A baseball signed by 11 Baseball Hall of Famers was sold on Aug. 11, 2018, for a record $623,369, according to SCP Auctions. The 11 signatures were Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, Connie Mack, Babe Ruth, George Sisler, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner and Cy Young.
The autographs were collected on June 12, 1939, at the first induction weekend during the opening of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum building in Cooperstown, N.Y. Former Chicago White Sox player Marv Owen was too shy to ask for autographs at the event, so former Detroit Tigers teammate (and future Hall of Famer) Hank Greenberg asked the living legends for their John Hancock. The ball remained in a fur-lined glove in a safe deposit box until Owen’s death in 1991, keeping the ball in near mint condition.
The record sale breaks the previous record of $345,000 for a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, which was sold in 2013. Incidentally, Gehrig is the only original inductee not included on this $600K record-breaking ball, as he was en route to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he would be diagnosed with ALS, which has since come to be commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”