Babe Ruth Archive

Value (2015) | $35,300 Auction$45,300 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
Well, I have a Babe Ruth ball, a picture of Babe Ruth from a hunting camp that he used to attend in Havelock, North Carolina, and an autographed picture of him to his good friend Ellis Simon, who was our family friend.

APPRAISER:
And when did the items pass to you?

GUEST:
Probably 1983, when Ellis passed away and he left us in his will.

APPRAISER:
Now of course, Ellis Simon, with his hunting lodge and the fishing on the lake, a lot of ballplayers came and attended his resort.

GUEST:
Right, exactly, and Ted Williams was there too, and we have some of that memory.

APPRAISER:
Ted Williams was a big hunter and fisherman too.

GUEST:
Yep.

APPRAISER:
And so tell me about the baseball.

GUEST:
Well, it's signed by several All Stars, or Hall of Famers, 12 signatures in all. And we presume these would have been players that came and attended, or visited, the hunting lodge. I'm not sure about that. I know that one of the players was a player in my hometown, where he's from, Kinston, North Carolina. And he acquired this ball and therefore passed it on.

APPRAISER:
Right, and so we have 12 signatures total on the ball, including of course Babe Ruth, as we can see, and Dizzy Dean, Dazzy Vance, Lefty Grove, Frank Frisch, Joe Medwick, and Pepper Martin, among others. And then the book, tell me about the book.

GUEST:
It was given to Ellis by Babe, autographed in the front.

APPRAISER:
It is a first edition, and then we open it up and here we have, "To Ellis Simon, from Babe Ruth," a beautiful fountain pen signature there on this signed first edition. Then of course the hunting photo we have there with Babe and all the game there. And then let's talk about the large photo here. So it's personalized to Ellis, which is okay. It's nice to see that this is personalized. In the personalization, he writes, "To my friend Ellis Simon," and then it said, "In fond memory of Camp Bryan, collards, and Craven County corn." So tell me about Craven County corn.

GUEST:
I think that was just his way of saying, "Good whiskey."

APPRAISER:
So here, the Babe still has a sense of humor about that, even though here, dated May 20, 1948, he passed away less than three months after he signed this photo. Another thing that's interesting about the photo is this was taken on the set of the Lou Gehrig biopic, The Pride of the Yankees. So this was taken during shooting of the movie. It's a great group with excellent provenance, and we'll start with the book here, a signed first edition. Has a little bit of wear, and we don't have a dust jacket, so the value on this we would put at auction of $5,000. Next, we have the baseball. That one, we would put an estimate at auction of $15,000 to $20,000.

GUEST:
Wow, nice.

APPRAISER:
The hunting scene photo, of course that's not in Babe's hand-- that's actually noted on the top that it was Babe Ruth at Camp Bryan, Havelock, North Carolina-- but in somebody else's hand. But still an interesting photo, especially with the relation to the hunting camp. That one, we put a value of about $300.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And lastly, the beautiful, large, signed Babe Ruth photo here. We'd put a value of that at auction of $15,000 to $20,000.

GUEST:
Wow. Great. Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Davenport, WA
Appraised value (2015)
$35,300 Auction$45,300 Auction
Event
Charleston, SC (August 08, 2015)
Material
Ink

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.