Two Signed Warren Spahn Balls

Value (2006) | $11,000 Auction$14,000 Auction

GUEST:
Well, we have two baseballs here, signed by Warren Spahn, and they're addressed to Ernie and James. Ernie is my grandfather, who was a photographer for the “Milwaukee Journal” for about 40 years after World War II. And, uh, James was my uncle, who was 12 years old at the time, and, uh, we also have one of the press passes that my grandfather received from the National League, which would get him into any National League game throughout the season. So, through his career as a photographer for the “Journal,” he was able to get to know a few of the Milwaukee Braves players, also some players from the Packers. From his time as a photographer, these were really his most, uh, proudest moments was covering the, the professional sports teams. So these have a lot of significance in my family.

APPRAISER:
Warren Spahn, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
A 14-time All Star, he won 20 games 13 times.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
He threw two no-hitters. The all-time winningest left-handed pitcher. 363 victories, truly a great player, a Milwaukee legend. A Braves legend. These are two very interesting baseballs. These just aren't signed baseballs, these are baseballs from particular games, pretty important games in his career. This is from number 327, win number 327. and this one from win number 300, so... these were actually used in the game. These are official balls. We can tell right here from the stamp, this is an official National League ball, has the appropriate Warren Giles stamp on it. And it's been rubbed up and you can just tell it's a game ball, and from the inscription, you can see that the number 300 is in the same hand as the signature of Warren Spahn.

GUEST:
That’s great.

APPRAISER:
These are milestone baseballs and collectors are very interested in milestone baseballs. And for a pitcher, 300 wins is the gold standard.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And Warren Spahn was the 13th player to achieve that great milestone, 300 games. He did it on August 11, 1961. He beat the Cubs 2-1, and it was a great event in his illustrious history. Now, number 327 is interesting, too. It's actually the game when he became the all-time winningest left-handed pitcher.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Number 326, he was tied with Eddie Plank.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And number 327, he became, at that point, the all-time winningest leftie.

GUEST:
That's fantastic.

APPRAISER:
So that's probably why your grandfather obtained that ball. Of course, he would go on to win many more games and end up with 363. He's still the all-time winningest southpaw. So, two very, very interesting baseballs. They're in beautiful condition. Do you have any idea what the value may be?

GUEST:
Well, you know, I did a little research on the Internet and I saw that a, uh, an ordinary Warren Spahn ball would go for about a hundred to $200.

APPRAISER:
Well, that's right. You know, Warren Spahn, unfortunately passed away recently and so his autograph certainly has risen in value lately. These are a little bit different than your ordinary Warren Spahn baseball. First of all, they're vintage signed. They're from his playing days, but, of course, these are milestone baseballs.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So, shall we do number 327 first?

GUEST:
Sure.

APPRAISER:
At auction, I would estimate it at between $3,000 and $4,000.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
You like that?

GUEST:
That sounds good.

APPRAISER:
Okay. Shall we get to number 300?

GUEST:
Let, let's do that.

APPRAISER:
Okay. 300 is, as I said… it's the gold standard

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It is the most collected number amongst milestone baseballs, and at auction I would estimate it at $8,000-$10,000, and I wouldn't be surprised if it went for more. I've never seen a Warren Spahn 300 game ball.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And it's truly remarkable and very exciting to see.

GUEST:
Well, thank you.

APPRAISER:
So, congratulations.

GUEST:
I'm amazed. This is fantastic. Wow. (laughing) That's incredible.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
New York, New York
Appraised value (2006)
$11,000 Auction$14,000 Auction
Event
Milwaukee, WI (July 29, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Baseball
Material
Leather

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