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'Bambino' dominates bids in Coach's auction

Editor Input Needed

Babe Ruth was the driving force in seven of the top-10 selling items in the January Coach's Corner Sports and Celebrity auction with a baseball signed by Ruth and Iron Horse Lou Gehrig was the top selling item at $10,240.

The Ruth-Gehrig ball was a Wellington & Dunn vintage ball in excellent condition with both men signing in fountain pen ink - Ruth on the sweet spot, as usual, and Gehrig on a side panel. The ball had a COA from two different authenticators.

A 1927 New York Yankees team ball with Ruth on the sweet spot was the second biggest seller, bringing $6,601. This was a red-and-black-laced Reach Official NL ball and also carried the signing date of "Oct. 6th '27." Also on the ball were Gehrig, Urban Shocker, Waite Hoyt, Bob Shawkey and the rest of the ballclub.

Ruth also carried the third spot with a Ruth-signed Hillerich & Bradsby Babe Ruth model bat selling for $4,953. The bat shows some cracking and chipping, but the signature was a sharp and clear in black ink.

The Yankees theme prevailed in the fourth-highest selling item as a baseball signed by the "Yankee Clipper" Joe DiMaggio and his movie star wife Marilyn Monroe, bringing $3,465.

A Tour of Japan ball from 1934 with Ruth on the sweet spot and 19 other players and personnel from that legendary trip was the fifth-highest price realized, selling for $3,448.

Three other Ruth items dominated the top-10 with a Ruth-signed Official AL (Harridge) ball selling for $2,674, a vintage Black-and-White Ruth Hall of Fame Postcard Plaque selling for $2,310 and a Ruth-personalized ball to "my pal Henry Engel" brought $1,930.

Other top-selling items included a Walter Johnson signed official Spalding NL ball that went for $2,525, a Beatles "Something New" album signed by all four musicians that sold for $2,053 and a Sandy Koufax signed Los Angeles Dodgers stats uniform that went for $1,737.

A complete list of all winning bids in this auction as well as bids for all future Coach's Corner Auctions can be accessed online at

For other information call 215-721-9162. The complete auction is published monthly in Sports Collectors Digest.

- Ted Taylor