1919 Cincinnati Reds Championship Baseball

Value (2007) | $45,000 Auction$50,000 Auction

Well, this is a 1919 World Championship baseball. They were given to me roughly about 38 years ago, I'd say. I must have been about 13 years old. Friend of my mom's give 'em to me before he went back to Texas, and I've had 'em ever since sitting in a little viewing area at the house there, and then they went down to Virginia with me for a while, and then back here to Ohio. And just brought 'em in here to see what we might have to say about them.

Mm-hmm. The 1919 Cincinnati Reds were a great team. An underappreciated team. They won 96 games that year, which was the best in the league, and of course, they went on to play the Chicago White Sox in the World Series. A lot of people favored the White Sox. Shoeless Joe Jackson. The White Sox lost the World Series five games to three. Then it came out that they had perhaps thrown those games. And it was a big cloud over baseball. But what's kind of lost in all that is that the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series that year, and a lot of scholars think they were really one of the best teams of the era. It's just that they've kind of been overshadowed by the Chicago White Sox, of course, known as the Black Sox. So, here we have a baseball signed by 26 members of the team. And we have the manager of the team, Pat Moran, who is right here on the sweet spot. We even have the owner of the team-- which is interesting-- August Herrmann right here. We have some of the best players. A gentleman named Edd Roush, who eventually became a Hall of Famer. He's right here. And then we have a player named Jake Daubert, who was a great player of the era. Kind of a borderline Hall of Fame-type player. He's one of the rarer signatures on a baseball. Championship team signed baseballs are very, very collectible. The earlier you go, the rarer they get. Now, do you want to take a guess as to how many 1919 Cincinnati Reds baseballs there are out there? Well, that are known, I should say.

Uh, maybe 20. I...

How about less than five? You've never had it appraised, you've had it for 30 years, you've had it in your curio cabinet?


I would put an auction estimate of between $45,000 and $50,000.

Phew! That's a little more than I thought.

Yeah. It's in remarkably good shape considering. The signatures are dark. They're all there. Everybody you'd want on that team is on that ball. And, uh, this is by far the best baseball I've ever seen on the ROADSHOW, so... It was really exciting when you pulled it out of your bag there, and I saw what it was.

Yeah. Glad it brought some excitement to you, 'cause you've brought some excitement to me. (both laughing) My wife almost sold it for $200.

Well, I'm glad she didn't.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2007)
$45,000 Auction$50,000 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 28, 2007)

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.