The Daily Mirror story that's quickly making its way around gossip sites on Monday morning has all the ingredients that make up a successful link bait story.
Among them: Charlie Sheen, a young Disney star, drunken antics, valuable memorabilia, the New York Yankees and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-style social awkwardness.
According to the British tabloid, the wacked-out movie star recently hosted a holiday party in which he gave "High School Musical" star Zac Efron a Babe Ruth autographed baseball worth a reported $2.6 million in a booze-fueled moment of baseball-themed benevolence.
From the Daily Mirror:
Charlie totally forgot about handing over the collectors' item and only recently discovered his drunken generosity.
Inspecting his baseball collection, he saw the slot where the ball used to sit in pride of place and suddenly remembered what he'd done ... (Sheen) is now too embarrassed/polite to ask (Efron) for the ball back.
While Sheen may miss whatever intangible value that owning the 1920s baseball gave him, it's actually debatable how many dollars he'd actually be out if he doesn't ask Efron to return the item. The Mirror says the baseball is worth $2.6 million, but it's not hard to say there may have been a communication breakdown somewhere over the Atlantic. The value of Babe Ruth autographed baseballs can fluctuate wildly due to a number of factors, but you can see that this one sold in 2012 for $1,300. A baseball that was signed by both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig went for $8,800.
That's not to say that Charlie Sheen didn't hit up an auction site after a few drinks and pay way too much for this baseball. If anyone would be capable of such a thing, it would be him.
Sheen, however, generally knows the value of baseball memorabilia. He owns Ruth's 1927 World Series ring after buying it for $250,000. Are we really supposed to believe he paid more than 10 times as much for something much more common, even if it had an authenticity more easily traced than the controversial title ring?
Nonetheless, this is still an entertaining story, no matter the ball's true dollar figure. Zac Efron is currently winning right now. Charlie Sheen? Not so much.