Hauls of Shame: The real “Ruths” versus the “Record Breakers”

From SABR member Peter J. Nash at Hauls of Shame on December 21, 2011:

Over the past few decades, baseballs alleged to have been signed by Hall of Famer George Herman “Babe” Ruth have become the most prized collectibles in the billion-dollar baseball memorabilia industry. Many credit Ruth-related artifacts as creating the foundation for the baseball memorabilia craze that was initiated by the Bambino as he pushed his hand and pen across thousands of fresh white horsehide baseballs that have since become family heirlooms and highly marketable assets for both collectors and investors alike.

The most striking example of the power of the Ruth signature is the record-breaking auction sales figures generated by the near-mint condition examples of the Babe’s autograph that have survived. Looking like they did on the day they were allegedly signed by the Babe over a half century ago, the top dozen balls sold privately and at auction have generated over $1 million, with the highest-graded specimen changing hands recently for a reported $300,000.


Operation Bambino is the current Haulsofshame.com investigation seeking to determine if these record-breaking balls sold at auction were actually signed by the Babe, or are forgeries.  In this third installment of our 10-part series we will compare exemplars of genuine Babe Ruth signatures with the alleged autographs of the slugger found on the sweet-spots of eleven of the most valuable Ruth balls in the hobby.

Read the full article here: http://haulsofshame.com/blog/?p=10608

Originally published: December 21, 2011. Last Updated: December 21, 2011.