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Big League Stew

Surprise Babe Ruth autograph find is marred by presence of child’s handwriting

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

A community library in Florida recently made a very cool find while going through one of its storage closets. It was a penny postcard from the 1940s that contained what looks like an autograph from baseball legend Babe Ruth.

There was only one problem: The postcard also looked like a child had used it for a piece of scratch paper while learning about the wonderful world of punctuation:

Officials from the Clermont Memorial Library Association have yet to authenticate Ruth's signature, but there's a chance it's the real deal. The Yankees used to hold spring training down the road in St. Petersburg and it was common back then to have baseball stars (as well as other celebrities) autograph postcards instead of their baseball cards.

Hollywood Autographs pegs the value of a Ruth autograph at anywhere from $20,000 if the signature is on a baseball  to around $3,000 if it's on a photo or card. There's no telling, though, how much this card would be devalued with the presence of some additional doodling as well as what looks like an aborted attempt to trace over Ruth's signed name.

From BayNews9.com:

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The postcard has no address, but it does have some unfortunate, additional writing on it. It appears a child used the same signed card to practice his or her homework, writing, "Period is this," followed by an arrow pointing to the punctuation mark.

Several photos were also found in the storage unit, which could help identify the original owner.

Library officials have released the photos to the public, hoping that someone will recognize the subjects and be able to shed some light on how the Ruth autograph ended up in their storage closet.

And on the chance that the young grammarian/graffiti artist is still alive? Well, he or she is probably overdue for a lecture about respecting other people's property.

Preferably from the man in Ohio who looks exactly like Babe Ruth.

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