Superb Babe Ruth-Autographed Ball in Auction An autographed Babe Ruth baseball presented in 1947 to a 16-year old star high school pitcher and safely stored for 61 years will be offered in a public auction by Memory Lane, Inc., May 17, 2008.
News-Antique.com - May 01,2008 - He spent 35 years as a dentist, but before that Dr. Carvel Lincoln of Garland, Texas was a fire-balling 16 year-old pitcher in August of 1947. He and his American Legion baseball teammates from Boise, Idaho were playing in a sectional tournament in Billings, Montana when they crossed paths with the most famous ballplayer of all time.
Sixty-one years later, the souvenir autographed baseball that an ailing Babe Ruth handed out that day is one of the premier items in an upcoming sports memorabilia auction. The proceeds from the sale of the ball will be used to help pay for college for Dr. Lincoln's grandchildren.
Now retired, Dr. Lincoln has consigned his amazingly well preserved autographed Ruth baseball to Memory Lane Incorporated of Tustin, California (www.MemoryLaneinc.com). It will be offered in a public auction on May 17, 2008 with a minimum bid of $10,000.
The bold, blue ink signature on the ball has been certified genuine by PSA/DNA, the world's largest sports memorabilia authentication services and a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).
"The story behind the ball is simple enough, but might make collectors long for the days when it wouldn't have been unusual to see the greatest player of all time at an amateur baseball tournament in Montana," said J.P. Cohen of Memory Lane.
"By 1947, Ruth had already been diagnosed with cancer and the disease would claim his life a year later, but treatment earlier that summer had left him feeling well enough to travel on goodwill visits for the American Legion and for Ford Motor Company. He arrived in Billings, Montana to make a short speech at a tournament banquet, and brought along some official American League baseballs which were passed out to participating team members," explained Cohen.
"His voice was deep and raspy," Dr. Lincoln recalled. "He coughed quite a bit." The young athletes were surprised to see the once robust Ruth in such failing health, but impressed he would spend time with them. Lincoln
was one of the boys who received a ball from the generous slugger and it immediately became one of his most cherished possessions.
"I remember it vividly. Really, it seems like yesterday. We went to the banquet and after seeing him, I must have been inspired. The next day he was in the stands and I was pitching. I struck out eleven, but unfortunately we lost."
Dr. Lincoln's high school teammates included fellow pitcher Vern Law, who later spent a long career in the Major Leagues, as well as Larry Jackson, a shortstop on
the American Legion team who would later become a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dr. Lincoln kept the ball in its original cardboard box and stored it in a desk until he married and moved away with his new wife to begin a 35-year dental practice near Dallas. The ball would be moved to a safe deposit box, rarely seeing the light of day.
"I brought it out only four or five times. Otherwise,