Is this an authentic Babe Ruth signature on this ball, found in a trunk at a Wasa flea market? Submitted file.

Is it authentic? Signed Babe Ruth baseball found in Wasa, B.C.

Owner waiting authentication of 1943 baseball

With the MLB World Series just around the corner, a baseball mystery has unfolded in Cranbrook and Wasa, B.C. involving probably the most famous baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth.

Anthony Dransfeld, a special contributor to the Kimberley News Bulletin, shares how the ball found its way to B.C.’s Kootenays and reflects on his memories of the all-time great.

The story actually began three years ago, when an local elderly man died. His sister travelled from Vancouver to sort out his affairs, including his house. There was a small trunk, with a number of locks, that was given to Murphy Brown’s Flea Market in Wasa. After two days of finagling the locks, it opened.

At the very bottom of the trunk, was a small plastic case and stand, with an old weathered baseball – slightly yellowish in color. The date on the baseball was 1943.

The signature: George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr.

Baseball historians in New York City, where Ruth played for the Yankees, as well as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, have since been sent pictures of the ball, to validate the authenticity of the signature.

I personally, have been a part of the baseball world all of my life. The ball itself is quite probably from the 1940s. Having seen Ruth’s signature on various memorabilia via the internet, to my eye the signature looks quite similar.

Time will tell the tale, but it certainly looks like a most interesting discovery.

Back in the day, Ruth would barnstorm after the Yankees season, playing exhibition games with his team, Babe Ruth’s All Stars, in such locales as Coeur D’Alene, Sandpoint, Spokane, Kallispell, and Helena, Montana.

It is quite conceivable the baseball came from one of those barnstorm games, signed during the very midst of the Second World War, and found its way to the East Kootenays by a fan who attended a game a few hours away.

I will keep everyone updated regarding “The Baseball.”

I have spoken to a curator for the New York Yankees organization and he has confirmed that the ball is definitely from that era. The actual signature has not been confirmed as authentic. It remains to be seen if the ball will need to be sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame for further examination.

By the way, The Babe did quite a lot for the War Bond Drive in the U.S.A., with his charity baseball games in the 40s.

He certainly had a flair for the dramatic. In his very last Major League game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an overweight and hung over Ruth hit three home runs for the Pirates – one completely clearing the right field stands totally out of the ball park, a feat that had only been done six times in the 80-year history of Forbes Field.

For the readers who aren’t fans, here’s a brief history lesson

Ruth hit his very first homer in Toronto as a minor league ball player, swatting it into Lake Ontario, no less.

He was a 20-game winner as a left handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, winning the World Series 1-0 in 12 innings, before switching to the outfield because of his prodigious home run hitting talent.

Babe Ruth, the most famous baseball player of our time.

The 2019 Baseball Pennant Races are heating up. The front runners are The New York Yankees, Houston Astros (with the stupendous George Springer), the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and the dark horse Minnesota Twins.

Baseball has never been more exciting and so well played as we approach the home stretch.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Clearwater food bank receives donation from tree planting group

Dynamic Reforestation out of Williams Lake donated $1,400 in light of International Hunger Day

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Rod and gun club president speaks up on gun ban

Chase said such a sweeping ban isn’t the right way to address the issue in a democratic country

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read