Quality Autographs offers free UPS Ground shipping on all order over $100 shipped within the continental U.S., plus a bonus offer – spend $500 or more and get 10% off your order in addition to free shipping!Â Check our website to view our current inventory on our web site at http://www.qualityautographs.com or contact us at 800-241-4809 or email@example.com and mention this promotion to take advantage of this special offer! Orders must be placed by December 18, 2008 5pm EST.
Highlighted items this week include:
Ted Lyons nicely signed B&W P/C photo (White Sox)Â $75
Sonny Jurgensen Official NFL football boldly signed in silver sharpie pen w/”HOF 83″–$250
Bus Clarkson extremely rare GPC postmarked 1952 $795
1944 N.Y. Yankees team-signed OAL (Harridge) ball-NrMt!Â $750
Kevin’s Weekly Collecting Tips & FAQ
Question: There seems to be an endless supply of Babe Ruth autographs.Â How many actually exist?
Ruth was the first baseball player who was paid to do large-scale signings for promotions and giveaways.Â It is also worth noting that, during his lifetime, Ruth was a larger-than-life, iconic figure in a smaller, less diversified country whose devotion to baseball was more monolithic than it is today.Â Baseball held a singular place in our society as the country’s undisputed national pastime and Ruth was its biggest name.Â It is difficult to argue that Babe Ruth was the most famous of all baseball players and so by extension, he may well have been the most popular living celebrity of his day.Â It is doubtful that he could have traveled anywhere without being instantly recognized and doubtless that many who saw him requested and received his autograph to memorialize the encounter.Â The vast volumes of signed items that remain today on varied mediums are clear evidence that Ruth willingly penned his name for those who made the request both in person and through the mail which must have been voluminous throughout his adult life.Â It is also interesting to note that there was no monetary value associated with baseball autographs during Ruth’s day and the market to buy and sell such items was decades away.Â Still, a Ruth autograph was a keepsake to the person who acquired it and many became instant family heirlooms, retained and handed down to future generations.Â
Even without monetary value, Ruth autographs were treasures to be kept and preserved forever.Â Having said all this, I believe that Ruth must have signed his name at least a couple of million times during his adult life and it is likely that at least a million examples remain today.Â Â To support this contention, let’s do an analysis and let’s assume that 50% of all Ruth signatures have been lost or destroyed over the years and 50% remain.Â Since Ruth autographs pre-dating 1920 are indeed rare and he did not become a national phenomenon until he joined the Yankees in 1920, let’s only look at Ruth’s adult life after that time which spanned some 29 years.Â Consider just 28 of those for our analysis.Â Using these parameters, one must determine how many times Ruth would have had to sign his name on a daily average over his last 28 years to reach 2,000,000 times:
365 days/year (x) 28 years = 10,220 days and 2,000,000 signatures divided by 10,220 days = ~196 signatures/day.Â With a 50% loss rate, this leaves us at one million existing Ruth’s.Â
Certainly there were many days that Ruth signed little or no autographs; however, considering his stature, popularity, and penchant for affability and fan accommodation, there must have been an abundance of days that Ruth signed hundreds, if not thousands, of times more than the required 196 per day average to compensate for low-autograph days.Â Thus, I contend that the numbers suggested above are both realistic and likely benchmarks for the supply of Ruth autographs.Â
We welcome your comments or questions as well to post in future newsletters.
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