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Go Back Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used

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Old 06-11-2016, 05:29 PM
b8tovene b8tovene is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 6
Default New to Hobby 1948 Babe Ruth Signed Baseball...Ball Point Pen?

Hello everyone ~

I recently acquired this [single] signed Babe Ruth Baseball from a gentleman who inherited the ball from his father, in 1988. The father, who presented the ball to his son, with a rather formal letter (the original letter was included with the ball), outlined how the ball was acquired. The father of the seller of the ball was 9 years old, in 1948, and was in attendance with his father (the sellers grandfather), and Uncle for a New Bern, NC exhibition game - their local team against the House of David (a kind of Harlem Globetrotters of baseball) baseball team. The real attraction to this game was suppose to be the attendance of Babe Ruth. It was known at the time that Babe Ruth was very ill, but they weren't aware of just how ill. During the game it was announced that Babe Ruth was currently hospitalized, and of course could not attend. As a consolation the stadium was sent a half dozen balls for raffle; the seller's father, won, one of the balls. A great story/provenance. Included with the ball was several newspaper articles outlining Ruth's connection with New Bern, NC - it was a favorite hunting and fishing spot that Ruth used regularly to get away from the hustle and bustle of NYC.

The letter from the father was titled "Authentication of the Bonner Family Babe Ruth Autographed Baseball". The letterhead was from the father's fisheries biologist stationary, and refers to him also being an outdoor columnist. The letter, in part talks about how the ball was taken to the Maryland Baseball Hall of Fame Museum many years ago, and the curator at the time, Gregory Schwalenberg authenticated the ball, and stated at the time, it was a better example than any of the other three they had in the museum at the time. This of course was before the days of any real authentication service like PSA or JSA. That said, the ball has recently been authenticated by JSA.

Here is my question about this signature. Although the JSA authentication states that the ball was signed with a steel-tip fountain pen, this very much looks as if it was signed with a ball point pen. So my first question is what your opinion with regard to this, and if a ball point pen signature is rare for Ruth? Reading up on the history of the ball point pen - they were introduced to the US market through Macy's in 1945, and never really caught on until the 1950's.

Any input you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-11-2016, 05:40 PM
David Atkatz's Avatar
David Atkatz David Atkatz is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,099

Ruth did use ball-point pens towards the end of his life. There exist many examples of the post-card-sized photos that Ruth sent to fans which were signed in ball-point. I have owned a few. Here are two examples:

Last edited by David Atkatz; 06-11-2016 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 07:42 PM
Scott Garner's Avatar
Scott Garner Scott Garner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 6,611

I believe that your Ruth ball was signed in fountain pen, not ball point pen FWIW
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:04 PM
thetruthisoutthere thetruthisoutthere is offline
Christopher Williams
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,899

Originally Posted by Scott Garner View Post
I believe that your Ruth ball was signed in fountain pen, not ball point pen FWIW
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autographed babe ruth, babe ruth, new york yankees, signed babe ruth

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