Roy Campanella-Signed Baseball

Value (2015) | $4,000 Insurance
Watch  

GUEST:
We found this ball at my uncle's house after he passed away. He got the ball in 1951 when he was 22 years old at an exhibition game in Aniston, Alabama, the Birmingham Barons versus the Roy Campanella All Stars.

APPRAISER:
The Roy Campanella All Stars, and this is 1951, so Roy Campanella's already in the big leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers, an MVP, one of the best players of his time, of his generation, certainly. What's great about this ball is 1951, after the season ended, Roy Campanella assembled a number of his friends in the big leagues, also African Americans, who had played in the Negro Leagues.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So, it's basically an All Star ball of these great former Negro League players who were now playing in the Big Leagues. So we have, of course, Roy Campanella on this ball. Roy Campanella famously and unfortunately got into a car accident in the later '50s and lost his ability to sign things, so there isn't a lot of his signatures out there, obviously very little post his accident. So, that's very cool that that's here.

GUEST:
That is cool!

APPRAISER:
But there's some other great signatures on here, too. Most importantly, we'll talk about the Hall of Famers. Roy Campanella of course would be in the Hall of Fame later, as would Monte Irvin, right here. And probably most famously, Willie Mays.

GUEST:
Twice!

APPRAISER:
And that is very interesting that it's signed twice, and that's not uncommon. You know, as these baseballs were passed around the clubhouse, guys would sign it, some would come back to them and sign it again. It doesn't add any extra value to it, it's just, you can't go wrong with two Willie Mays signatures.

GUEST:
No, you can't!

APPRAISER:
It's great. Willie Mays is a rookie in 1951. He's only a few years out of being a Birmingham Black Baron himself. So, here we have a baseball filled with this wonderful and rich Negro League history, and it's from 1951, so it's a time when these Negro Leagues are transitioning into the major leagues, making such a huge difference. And the Negro League team itself, the Birmingham Black Barons, are still playing at the time, so it's a fascinating ball. It's in beautiful condition, too.

GUEST:
That's what I was wondering.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, it's in beautiful condition, immaculate, signatures are bold, early signatures. It's got everything going for it. If I were to insure it, I would insure it for nothing less than $4,000.

GUEST:
Oh, wonderful, wonderful. That's great!

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2015)
$4,000 Insurance
Event
Birmingham, AL (June 21, 2014)

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.