A ball signed by the 1927 New York Yankees ball is a collecting icon.
It is one of the most revered of all signed baseball items, and in top shape could be worth as much as $100,000. That’s why it’s particularly annoying when the family dog uses it for a toy and mangles it.
This 1927 Yankees ball was just consigned to the REA spring auction. The owner’s family has had this ball since 1942, when it was given to them as a gift by Yankees catcher Benny Bengough. Over the years the ball would occasionally be taken out to be admired, and then carefully put back into safe storage. Unfortunately, the last time it was out, the ball was left unattended for a few minutes. We don’t have to tell you what happened. The family dog grabbed it and ran off with it. It got a little mangled. The once perfect ball was eventually retrieved but was severely injured. Lou Gehrig’s signature remained largely unscathed, but many others, including Babe Ruth, were seriously scraped by teeth. Dog teeth marks have a significant impact on value on an item like this. It wasn’t a total loss. It is still a worthy auction item but the ball is now expected to sell for $1,000 to $2,000. It does, however, present a rare opportunity for collectors to buy a 1927 Yankees ball without spending tens of thousands of dollars.
The ball will be offered with a detailed letter from the former owner and will also be accompanied by a picture of the dog.
above: Buddy the beagle (with owner’s grandmother)