Mile High Auction Company will sell what’s believed to be the only known baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Al Capone in its first auction of 2013. Sourced through the combined families of two Baseball Hall of Famers, the ball autographed by two of the most iconic men from the roaring 1920’s through the 1930’s depression era of America, could sell for well into six figures according to the Denver-based auction house.
It’s believed the ball was acquired by Yankee Hall of Famer Herb Pennock in 1931, when baseball fan Capone visited Comiskey Park to watch Ruth and his teammates play the White Sox. The Yankees played in the south side ballpark on three different occasions that year including a one game stint in May and two other five games series during the summer months.
According to family history, after Capone signed the side panel, Pennock thought it would create quite an heirloom if he had his teammate and friend Babe Ruth add his autograph to the ball.
Hall of Famer Eddie Collins’ son later married Pennock’s daughter, creating a merged family of Hall of Famers. The ball includes a hand-written account of the ball from Collins’ grandson Pete, in which he relates a story of Miller Huggins reprimanding Yankee players for interacting with such an unsavory character such as Capone before a game. In the mid-1990s, Pete Collins recounted the story of the dual-signed ball and its place within his famous family’s history in the pages of Sports Collectors Digest.
Featuring a bold, large signature of Ruth on the sweet spot, the ball comes with LOA’s from James Spence Authentication (JSA) and John Reznikoff of University Archives.
Capone wasn’t a stranger to autograph collecting. A famous Getty Images photo originally published in LIFE Magazine in September of 1931, shows Capone and his son in the front row at Wrigley Field, getting an autograph from Cubs’ catcher Gabby Hartnett.
This ball will be one of the many key items featured in Mile High Card Co.’s January Premium Auction that will be live on their website at www.milehighcardco.com starting January 14 and culminating January 31.