1926 New York Yankees Autographed Baseball

1926 New York Yankees Autographed Baseball

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Description (Brief)
This baseball was autographed by members of the 1926 New York Yankees, including future Hall of Famers George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1895-1948) and Lou Gehrig (1903-1941).
Gehrig played in a record 2,130 consecutive baseball games for the Yankees before amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) forced him from the field in 1939. Gehrig’s continued humility and courage while fatally ill inspired the country. ALS is still commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Currently not on view
Object Name
autographed baseball
baseball, autographed
date made
Ruth, Babe
Gehrig, Lou
associated institution
New York Yankees
Physical Description
cork (center material)
wool (layer material)
horsehide (cover material)
overall: 3 in; 7.62 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of the Elliot Spencer family through Brad Spencer
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Autographed Baseballs
1939 exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Babe Ruth always signed balls by using "Babe Ruth" rather than George Herman Ruth. Furthermore, the Smithsonin's expert appraiser informed me that, in the days of the Yankee's greatest teams, the Babe always signed with his name appearing alone between the narrowing of the stitches. Team balls such s this ball are authenticated by examining the signatures, the location of the signatures on the ball. comparing the names on the bqll, to the team rosters and by examining the markings, stitches and labeling on the balls. Also official Yankee policy - prior to the late 1930s - was to preserve all autographed team balls with varnish. If the balls do not have varnish they are very unlikely to be real. Unscrupulous collectors sometimes try to buy balls for a low price by saying that the varnish makes them worthless. The appraiser of this ball and experts at Cooperstown told me that the varnish was an important factor in certifying the authenticity of this very special baseball.
We have a baseball signed George Herman in 1926. Was there another George Herman at that time? We were told by someone that this baseball was not by Babe Ruth.

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