A baseball signed by 11 of the 12 members of the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame class of 1939, including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and Walter Johnson, sold on Saturday night for $623,369.
The ball was previously owned by former MLB third baseman Marv Owen, who collected the signatures on the day of the induction ceremony. He stored it in a fur-lined glove in a safe deposit box until his death in 1991, preserving the signatures for those 52 years.
Lou Gehrig is the only inaugural Hall of Famer whose signature is not on the ball, as he missed the induction ceremony due to illness and was famously diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) just days later.
Two other signed baseballs have gone for high prices. One autographed by Ruth sold for $388,375 in 2012. But the highest-priced baseball record sale price goes to one signed by Mark McGwire. The ball of the then-record-setting 70th home run from the 1998 season was purchased by comic book writer Todd McFarlane for $3 million in January 1999.