Baseball Memorabilia, ca. 1950

Value (2005) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

The baseball is signed by Babe Ruth to Bud. That's me; I was just under two years old when he came to Fargo. He signed the picture "To Buddy." And this is a baseball autographed by Grover Cleveland Alexander, a great pitcher in the American... National League. I got that one when I was about ten or 11 years old under the stadium in Wahpeton, North Dakota. He was taking a shower out of a bucket, and, uh, he was barnstorming across the country. He lived in Los Angeles. This is a 1936 home run ball hit by Red Kress of the Washington Senators and it's signed by all of the Senators. A friend of my dad's... it was through my dad that all these things happened. My dad got a pass here from the National Association of Professional Baseball signed in 1938, and that gave him free access to any baseball park in the United States.

Terrific, and the baseball pass ties in the provenance and story that you're telling-- your dad having the access to the ball parks and being there. The Babe Ruth photo is wonderful, signed to you. The ball-- Red Kress is your dad's friend, so you have the team ball there, and the Grover Cleveland, as well as the piece de resistance, which is the Ruth and Maris ball. Unfortunately, the Ruth signature is a little bit smudged, but when you flip it around here, and we get a nice image of the Roger signature, it's a strong signature.

Roger Maris was signed by my father into professional baseball when he pitched in Fargo for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins, a class C Northern League at that time. And, uh, I watched Roger play high school football in Fargo. He was a great football player, a great athlete and a wonderful guy.

And to have those two on the same ball... it's fantastic. It's a great grouping-- really, really interesting stuff. As far as value goes, for auction, we'll start over here with the '36 ball, the Red Kress ball.

I didn't put that in there too much for the value as much as just to tie in the provenance.

It's a '36 Washington Senators team ball. You could still estimate that anywhere from $700 to $1,000.

For heaven's sake.

The Grover Cleveland Alexander is a really nice ball. Not a strong signature, but it's a white ball, nicely done. That's between $2,000 and $3,000. Uh, the pass has more sentimental value than dollar value, and that's something I'm sure that's going to stay in the family for a long time. Now, your Ruth photo. It's a very strong signature with a nice inscription. Personalized Ruth photo like this you could estimate at $3,000 to $5,000. And the baseball here, again, signed by Ruth on this side and Maris on that side, I would place a value of that-- only because of the smudging and a little bit of the faintness on the Roger Maris-- at about $4,000 to $6,000. So overall, what you're looking at basically is a package that's somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000.

Oh, my gosh. Well, that's...

And it's a wonderful, wonderful collection and I can't thank you enough for coming.


Appraisal Details

Philip Weiss Auctions
Lynbrook, NY
Appraised value (2005)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Bismarck, ND (July 30, 2005)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.