Tuesday, September 16, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;50.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-09-16 03:23:48
Sunday, October 21, 2012

1932 or 1933 Yankees baseball, that is the question

Dear Babe: I would appreciate any information that you could give me on a baseball my deceased father had. I am not sure of the year. I think that I remember my Dad saying it was the complete team that signed it. The signatures include: Babe Ruth (signed on the space between the two seams), Lou Gehirg, Chas Ruffing, Jimmie Burke, Joe Sewell, Art Jargens, Bill Ducky, John Allen, Arthur Fletcher, Dan MacFayden, Eddie Farrell, Vernan G?, Chapman, C? Devens, George W Pi? and Lyn Darcy?

– Kathleen Dockham, Stratham ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Dear Babe: I would appreciate any information that you could give me on a baseball my deceased father had. I am not sure of the year. I think that I remember my Dad saying it was the complete team that signed it. The signatures include: Babe Ruth (signed on the space between the two seams), Lou Gehirg, Chas Ruffing, Jimmie Burke, Joe Sewell, Art Jargens, Bill Ducky, John Allen, Arthur Fletcher, Dan MacFayden, Eddie Farrell, Vernan G?, Chapman, C? Devens, George W Pi? and Lyn Darcy?

– Kathleen Dockham, Stratham

As Da Babe has mentioned, in the days of yore, major league rosters didn’t change much from year to year. That’s definitely the case here. Every name on your baseball was with the Yanks in 1932 and 1933. You have 16 players along with two coaches, so it’s not quite the entire team.

For the record, here’s who Da Babe thinks signed the ball: Ruth, Ruffing, Gehrig, Burke (coach), Sewell, Art Jorgens, Bill Dickey, Allen, Fletcher (coach), Dan MacFayden, Eddie “Doc” Farrell, Vernon “Lefty” Gomez, Ben Chapman, Charlie Devens, George W Pipgras and Lyn Lary. You did pretty well on the names. Another trait for vintage signed baseballs is that most signatures are legible. Not the story these days.

The key names are Farrell and Devens. Farrell was with the squad only in 1932 and ’33. Devens was there from 1932 to 1943, but played just one game in each of the first and last years. He was in 14 games in 1933. That makes Da Babe lean toward it being a 1933 ball.

The year is going to make a big difference in value. In 1932 the Yankees won it all with a four-game sweep of the Cubs in the World Series. That included Ruth’s “called shot” in Game 3 at Wrigley Field. The 1933 edition of the Yanks finished second to the Washington Senators. Also, you are missing a few big names, especially Frank Crosetti, Tony Lazzeri, Earl Combs, Herb Pennock and manager Joe McCarthy. All five are Hall of Famers along with Ruth, Gehrig, Sewell, Ruffing and Sewell. Quite a roster.

“The 1932 Yankees baseball would be in the $5,000-$10,000 range for average sigs,” said David Kohler, president of www.scpauctions.com. “The 1933 ball would be $5-$7,500 – again depending on strength of the sigs. It would be more desirable with 20-plus autographs. It also really depends on how nice the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signatures are on the ball. I assume Babe Ruth on sweet spot.”

That said, while Ruth and Gehrig are the key names, a ball missing those other five HOFers is probably going to end up in the bottom half of the range, especially with just 14 player signatures.

Da Babe thought there might be some hope for a ball with just 16 signatures, (i.e. smaller rosters), but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

“The 25-man active roster limit has remained largely the same since 1910, with a few exceptions. In 1932, the in-season roster limit was lowered to 23 players due to economic hardships caused by the Great Depression,” Jacob Pomrenke, web content editor/producer, Society for American Baseball Research (http://sabr.org), wrote in an email. “In 1933, the roster limit was once again restored to 25 players, as it had been in the past. Keep in mind that this limit was only in effect after the trading deadline, which was May 15 in those days. Before May 15 and after Aug. 31, rosters could be expanded to 40 players.”

Pomrenke sent along a link to a detailed article by SABR member Cliff Blau on the history of roster size limits – http://members.dslextreme.com/users/brak2.0/rosters.htm.

Babe Waxpak is written by Bill Wagner. If you have a question for Babe Waxpak, include your full name and hometown, the card number, year and manufacturer or send a photocopy. Please do not send cards. The address is: Babe Waxpak, Box 492397, Redding CA 96049-2397 or email babewaxpak@charter.net.