When collector Steve Kittredge purchased a 1929 Babe Ruth-signed round in 1993, the came with a unique surprise — a video of Ruth signing the ball and then hitting a home run. The ball and video clip are now component of the thomas Newman arsenal being auctioned by memory Lane.

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When collector Steve Kittredge i agreeed to acquisition a baseball signed by Babe Ruth in 1929, that couldn’t wait to obtain the ball for his baseball map shop in Boca Raton, Fla.


But when Kittredge found what came with the historic ball and the story behind it, he was even an ext excited. The ball was owned by 71-year-old James B. Tonking III that Ft. Lauderdale, and it came through a video clip of Ruth signing the sphere for a young Tonking at Yankee Stadium and also belting a home run top top the same day.

Tonking’s father, James Tonking II, functioned for Eastman Kodak at the time and component of his project was to test new prototype cameras. Tonking II took one of the cameras come Yankee Stadium that day and collection it up near the Yankee dugout. During practice, Ruth belted a foul ball that was caught by the young Tonking. When he took it to be autographed by Ruth, his father offered his camera to record the minute on video.


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Baseball signed through Babe Ruth in 1929. 

Memory Lane


Tonking II likewise filmed Ruth smacking two home runs that day. Years later, Tonkin III’s daughter convert the clip to VHS and set it to an important version that “The means We Were.”


When Kittredge purchased the round from Tonkin III in in march of 1993, the video of Ruth signing the round came with it.


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“The signature I assumed was good, however I came to be increasingly an ext excited as I heard the story about the ball,” Kittredge said. “James' eye filled up together he was showing me the recording. It was his fondest memory. However, he to be enthusiastic about selling the ball to me to screen in our store for collectors and new generations of baseball fans to admire.”

More: Collectable offering shares of rarely Babe Ruth 1914 card 

The baseball and video were purchased indigenous Kittredge in 2012 by detailed collector Dr. Thomas Newman and also is currently up for bid at memory Lance Inc. As component of the thomas Newman Collection, which is gift auctioned with July 10. The Ruth-signed ball in many #277 has actually been authenticated by PSA and, in addition to the 92-year-old video, is expected to tempt six numbers from bidders.


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Babe Ruth signs autograph for James Tonking III in 1929. 

Memory Lane


While there are countless Ruth autographs in existence, this one is rare because of the video, which combine a special minute with vital time in history.


As storage Lane clues out, Ruth most likely signed much more autographs than any kind of athlete in history, setup the traditional for the value and pursuit that autographs and for future athletes earning income from their signatures.

But most of Ruth’s encounters with fans and autograph seekers came in the 1920s, soon after the silent movie era and also before many fans had even heard of a “movie camera.”


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The video clip shows Ruth acquisition the round from Tonking III and also carefully signing it prior to handing it one more man, who relays it to the young boy. James is then presented smiling from ear come ear as he turns toward the camera and shows the round to his father.


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James Tonking III through his round autographed by Babe Ruth. 

Memory Lane


According to storage Lane, the sphere is perhaps the only Ruth-autographed ball documented by video clip of the yes, really signing.

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“The story combines the Babe’s legend generosity toward autograph seekers with a youngster’s love of baseball,” memory Lane states in its release on the lot.


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James Tonking III 

Memory Lane


The video clip also reflects Yankee great Leo Durocher and another player tossing a ball behind Ruth close to the Yankee dugout. That then reflects Ruth belting a home run and also rounding the bases during the game.

In the 1940s, Tonking’s father included a coat of shellac to the round to try and preserve it. Tonking III treasured the sphere for decades before selling it to Kittredge in 1993.

Kittredge later sold his company but preserved the ball until that consigned the in 2012 to storage Lane, which auctioned it turn off to Newman because that his an important collection.

Newman, that passed away in January at period 73, left behind one of the most valuable and outstanding sports card and memorabilia collections in the world. His large collection that both vintage and modern-day cards is estimated to be worth an ext than $20 million and also features several rare Ruth artifacts, including the highest-graded 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #53, which memory Lane believes might break the all-time record for sporting activities cards.

The thomas Newman collection is now up because that bid in a special stand-alone auction the runs v July 10. The auction features an ext than 950 vintage and modern-day sports cards that represent some the the highest-graded and most iconic cards in the hobby.