Power Balls- page 2 | History | Smithsonian
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Power Balls

Out of the park: signed balls soar into the stratosphere

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(Continued from page 1)

The evocative power of the signed baseball, however, remains undiminished. "It’s possible," says Spence, "to view a player’s entire career through the baseballs he signed. For a minor league rookie, the autograph is often hesitant. If a veteran player gains the fame of a Ruth or a Jackie Robinson, the signature will become accomplished from a thousand repetitions." Babe Ruth’s signature, he says, "maintained its vibrancy even toward the end of his life," while the autograph of Negro League great Buck Leonard reflected the hardship that overtook the player: "He suffered a stroke which forced him to sign with his right hand instead of his left."

 

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