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    1942 Babe Ruth Autograph

    Appraised Value:

    $2,000 - $2,500

    Appraised on: August 14, 2004

    Appraised in: Reno, Nevada

    Appraised by: Mike Gutierrez

    Category: Sports Memorabilia

    Episode Info: Fame & Fortune (#1016)
    Reno, Hour 3 (#912)

    Originally Aired: April 11, 2005

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Autograph
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 1940s, 20th Century
    Value Range: $2,000 - $2,500

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    Appraisal Video: (2:15)


    Appraised By:

    Mike Gutierrez
    Collectibles, Sports Memorabilia
    Consignment Director
    Heritage Auctions

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This letter was written in April 2, 1942. My dad was stationed in Hollywood, California, during the war and had taken my mother with him because they were newlyweds, and they were staying at the Hollywood-Roosevelt Hotel.

    APPRAISER: What could you tell me about the signature?

    GUEST: Well, one night my parents were bowling with another couple, and in the lane next to them was Babe Ruth and his wife. And my mother was from rural Indiana and was very excited that Babe Ruth and his wife were next to them at the bowling alley, and so she got up her courage to scoot over and ask Mrs. Ruth for Mr. Ruth's autograph. And all she had with her in her purse was a laundry marker and an envelope she was carrying around with her.

    APPRAISER: In this era you'll normally find signatures written in fountain pen or in pencil, and that was going to be one of my questions to you, why the signature looks like a crayon, but it's a laundry pencil.

    GUEST: Right, which is a wax pencil.

    APPRAISER: That's great. In the letter here, your mom gives a real account here as to how she met Babe Ruth and Mrs. Babe Ruth and how the autograph was obtained.

    GUEST: Uh-huh, yes.

    APPRAISER: The good news I have for you is that this is an authentic signature. In the world of vintage autographs, there are a lot of fakes out there and this is authentic. Highly unusual in the marker that it was written in, but authentic. I see that it's dated April 2, 1942. The reason that Babe Ruth was in Hollywood at the time was because he was filming a movie at 20th Century Fox entitled "The Pride of the Yankees,"

    GUEST: Oh, my God.

    APPRAISER: which was the life story about Lou Gehrig.

    GUEST: I didn't know that. That's really exciting.

    APPRAISER: The great thing about this display is that this has really nice provenance. This is a Babe Ruth signature with provenance from when the signature was signed and also fantastic provenance with the date-- why he was in Los Angeles. My guess is that in this condition, with the provenance here, that the signature's worth between $2,000 to $2,500.

    GUEST: Wow. That's terrific.

    APPRAISER: What are you going to do with this?

    GUEST: I'm going to take it home and put it in the safe where it's been for the last 56 years. (laughing)

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