The baseball is over 100 years old, brownish in color but in otherwise good shape, and though the 28 autographs adorning it are described as “low grade,” they are still visible, as is the description, “1915 Worlds Champions 1915.”
It is a piece of baseball history.
The baseball is signed by the 1915 World Champion Boston Red Sox and it includes the autograph of a young Babe Ruth. Now, that piece of history is on auction as Lot #8 in Lelands 2019 Fall Classic Auction, running through Dec. 6.
The ball is part of the Dick Hoblitzell Collection.
Who is Hoblitzell? He was a veteran first baseman who became Babe Ruth’s roommate on the road when he joined the Red Sox in 1915. It wasn’t by chance he became Ruth’s roommate. It was said that Red Sox manager Bill Carrigan thought Hoblitzell might be a positive influence on the young Ruth, who was known as a drinker and late-night carouser.
Interestingly, when Hoblitzell went 1-for-25 to start the 1918 season, he was replaced at first base by his former roommate, Ruth.
Adam Miller of Lelands told SCD the ball is expected to fetch more than $50,000.
The Dick Hoblitzell Collection in Lelands auction also includes his personal World Series programs, numerous baseballs and his game-worn first baseman’s mitt.
Among other auction highlights:
nBabe Ruth’s “only recognized Ruth rookie” card is the 1916 M101-5 Sporting News blank back #11 depicting a very young Ruth in pitching follow-through.
“Encapsulated by PSA and graded FR 1.5 largely due to a crease, Babe’s image remains spectacular in this seldom-seen pose. Ruth was a full-time pitcher to start his career, amassing a winning percentage of .671 and was 3-0 in World Series play.”
There are several other Ruth cards up for bid
n“Shoeless” Joe Jackson was illiterate and his signature rare, so a Jackson signed voucher of a mortgage payment by the White Sox is drawing a lot of attention as the Holy Grail of autographs. Also on auction are 1919 World Series tickets, a 1919 White Sox season pass, Type 1 photos, handwritten letters, and autographs.
“It is dated February 28th, 1916 in Savannah, Ga., and paid to the order of the Savannah Realty Investment Corporation and value received and charge the same to the account of Harry Grabiner, Secy. Chicago White Sox,” Lelands said in its description of the voucher. “This is a scarce piece of baseball history. It is in very good to excellent condition with two minor vertical folds and a tiny chip on the right edge. It has been authenticated and encapsulated by PSA/DNA.”
nRocky Bleier was a Vietnam war hero, awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and went on to win four Super Bowls as a halfback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the first time, he is making his vast collection of memorabilia available through the auction. Among the many items is Bleier’s 1979 Super Bowl XIII game-worn helmet and 1980 Super Bowl XIV game-used, signed jersey.
nFans of the movie “Major League” have the opportunity to bid on the Cleveland Indians cap actor Charlie Sheen wore as the bespectacled closer Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn and the actual screen-used, game-used pitched ball by Sheen as Wild Thing. “Final pitch! 100+ MPH!” and “Major League ‘88” are written on the ball.
Dave Strege is the Editor of SCD. You can reach him at email@example.com