When I was a kid, probably in eighth grade or so, I played hooky. I don’t exactly remember why, I think it was just one of those “I wonder if I can do it” moments. The reality is, the day did not live up to my expectations, probably because I didn’t play hooky with any kind of purpose – like to go to the zoo, or maybe see a ball game. The day turned out pretty ordinary, and I never played hooky again. The only excitement I had was when I had to jump behind some bushes when I saw (or perhaps I imagined this?) my parents’ car coming down the road in front of me.
So, when I read the story behind today’s remarkable item, this Babe Ruth Autographed Baseball with PSA/DNA COA – NO RESERVE & FREE US SHIPPING, acquired during a hooky session, it tugged on my heartstrings, and I knew I had to feature it.
One of the top legends of baseball, Babe Ruth really needs no introduction, as he garnered legions of fans during his 22 seasons in MLB from 1914 to 1935. The inscription and the signature on the ball have been certified authentic, and the ball is kept in a sealed PSA/DNA display case. While the ball itself is a remarkable piece of sports memorabilia, the story behind the ball is just as, or maybe more, fascinating.
The listing relates the story in detail:
“This ball was originally acquired by Robert “Jud” Rae, my late father-in-law, on September 24th, 1934. When he was 10-years-old, Jud played hooky from school to see the last home game of the season at Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox. He traveled 30 miles from his home in Boonton, NJ to the Bronx, purchased a ticket, and watched the game by himself.
Afterwards, Jud hung around to get a baseball signed by his hero, Babe Ruth. Most of the people waiting for autographs were adult men, so Jud could barely see the Babe beneath his baseball cap as he was signing autographs. However, Ruth saw Jud peeking through the crowd and beckoned him forward.
“What would you like, son” asked Ruth.
“Could you please sign my ball,” asked Jud.
“Sure. What’s your name?”
“Robert, do ya have a nickname?”
“My friends call me Jud.”
“Well Jud, that’s what I’m going to sign,” said Ruth.
Jud said that he intended to use the ball as a “get out of jail” token, just incase his mom caught him playing hooky that day. Little did he know that he had ended-up getting an autograph from the great Babe Ruth from Ruth’s last home game ever at Yankee stadium.”
The story in the listing goes on to describe how the ball stayed in the family, considered a precious heirloom that Jud ultimately handed down to his grandson at a ballgame – a New York Yankees game, of course. Jud shared his story, and told his grandson to someday give the ball to his own son, keeping the tradition alive. The only time Jud said he could sell it, would be to buy “a ‘HOT’ set of wheels to impress the love of his life.”
Tragically, the ball is for sale today, and not to get that set of wheels. Jud’s grandson passed away in an accident at the young age of 19. The ball is being auctioned on eBay, and the seller relates her reasons:
“I want this ball to have many more chapters, good memories, and fun associated with it for years to come. I think Babe, Jud, and my son would agree that it belongs with someone who loves the game of baseball as much as they did.”
We are inspired by the seller’s words, and hope this ball finds its way into the hands of a fan who is as captivated by the game as much as Jud was during that bright sunny day, so long ago.