Thursday, May 01, 2008

If We All Pitch In, We Can Buy This Ball

Via SPORTSbyBROOKS comes this article about the mintiest of the mint-condition Babe Ruth-autographed baseballs for auction:

Sixty-one years ago, Carvel Lincoln was a 16-year-old pitcher with an American Legion team from Boise, Idaho, in Billings for a junior baseball tournament. His team lost, but Lincoln came away with a treasure - a baseball autographed by the legendary Babe Ruth.

Ruth came to Billings for the tournament's opening at Athletic Park, spoke at a banquet and gave away autographed baseballs.

Lincoln, 77, a retired dentist living in the Dallas suburb of Garland, is selling his baseball, a prized possession in nearly perfect condition, through an auction house specializing in high-end sports memorabilia.

Bidding started Sunday at $10,000. Within about three hours, the baseball had attracted nine bids with the price up to $21,000. A 10th bid placed Monday put the ball at $22,000. The online auction by Memory Lane Inc. of Tustin, Calif., ends May 17.

J.P. Cohen, an auctioneer with Memory Lane, speculated that Lincoln's ball could sell for anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.

"Would it surprise me if it goes for over six figures? Not at all," Cohen said Monday. "This baseball looks like it was signed yesterday. That's how phenomenal it is."