Consigned by former Scoutmaster Jack Coughlin…
The Babe is still Helping the Boy Scouts
Generous Portion of Sales Price of Babe Ruth-signed Baseball on Steiner Auctions Donated to Scouts
New York, November 8—The immortal Babe Ruth is still helping the Boy Scouts. Seventy years after his passing, a baseball signed by the Bambino inscribed to “Troop 6 Larchmont Boy Scouts from Babe Ruth” is on the Steiner Auctions block, and a generous portion of the final sales price will be donated to the Boy Scouts by consigner Jack Coughlin.
Mr. Coughlin was a lifelong scout, serving on many boards and committees, and obtained the ball circa 1948, when a group of scouts were throwing it around a gymnasium. Eagle Scout Coughlin, the 20-year-old Scoutmaster of Troop 6 at the time, confiscated the ball so that no one was hurt. He saw that it was not just an ordinary baseball, but one signed by the “Sultan of Swat.” He has held it for safekeeping until now.
The Official American League Baseball is in “very good condition and strong signature,” according to Steiner Auctions Director Dave Amerman. It is expected to fetch in the $10,000-15,000 range with proceeds to be shared by Mr. Coughlin, the ball’s official owner, and the Westchester-Putnam Council, which serves Scouts in southeastern New York State.
The “Fall Classic Auction” closes on Saturday, November 18th. Visit steinerauctions.com to bid and for more information.
Below is the press release issued by the Boy Scouts of America:
Hawthorne, NY – The year was approximately 1948 when Eagle Scout Jack Coughlin, in his early 20s and recently home from serving in WWII, stumbled upon a mystery. The Scoutmaster of BSA Troop 6 in Larchmont, no longer chartered, he saw two Scouts tossing a baseball around the Murray Avenue school during a meeting. Confiscating the ball to avoid injuries in the crowded gym Coughlin noticed the ball was signed by none other than Babe Ruth. When he asked the Scouts about the autograph on the ball, they asked “Aren’t they all?”
The story goes that the ball was a home-run ball brought to the Troop by a father who was no longer active in the Troop. The ball remained in a Troop equipment box for several years.
Designated by the Troop Committee, Coughlin set out to return the ball to its rightful owner but was stymied as no one knew where it came from. Ultimately, the Troop gave the ball to Coughlin as a thank you for serving as Scoutmaster.
The ball sat in a drawer for years until Coughlin was married, at which point it was moved to a safe deposit box, to languish for years more.
Nearly 70 years later, Coughlin again tried to find the original owner of the ball with no luck. On advice of Westchester-Putnam Council attorney, John Perone, Coughlin reached out to BSA leadership and was assured him that, having been gifted to him by the Troop, he had full ownership in the ball. Coughlin’s eventually contacted Steiner Sports to see if the ball held any value.
Steiner, after learning of the connection to BSA felt the ball would be a real catch for a collector with a potential value at between $10,000 and $15,000. Coughlin and Steiner arranged for an auction to be held for the ball with the proceeds being shared between Coughlin and BSA.
The original source of the ball with the autograph may never be known. But its legacy will live on.
For more information about Westchester-Putnam Council Boy Scouts of America contact Chris Carollo, Director of Development, 914-449-2611, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.” The Scouting organization is comprised of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers.