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

Abbotsford Police Department’s public service counter reopens

Some modified protocols in place for the public due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Abbotsford Time Lapse 2020

YouTube user posts video showing time lapse of several Abbotsford locations

Abbotsford resident receives award from B.C. Historical Federation

Bill Glasgow honoured for work on British Columbia History magazine

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

Abbotsford Christian’s Meinen named 2A all-star

Zach Meinen named to provincial all-star squad for 2019-20

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

20 dead in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

There were two new cases detected, according to the Lodge’s update

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

UPDATE: One person dead, two in critical condition after Highway 1 collision in Langley

A man and woman were taken to hospital in critical condition

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Most Read