Description1961 Roger Maris Single Signed Baseball from Day He Tied Babe Ruth. "The minute I threw the ball," Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jack Fisher later admitted, "I said to myself, that does it. That's number sixty." Today just a footnote in one of the most memorable subplots in Major League Baseball history, Fisher had the eyes of the baseball world upon him as he delivered a high curve ball to the plate on September 26, 1961. Maris' thunderous left handed swing turned the ball violently back an instant later, bouncing it off the concrete steps of Yankee Stadium's upper deck and down onto the field, where Orioles right fielder Earl Robinson retrieved the ball and tossed it to umpire Ed Hurley. Through first base coach Wally Moses, it was delivered back to the Yankees dugout just as Maris completed his customary speedy trot around the bases.
For years, Mike Gross believed that he owned that very ball clubbed by Maris, and today he still is not entirely convinced otherwise. The evening after the game his father Milt Gross, a noted columnist for The New York Post who served as the model for the character Milt Kahn in the film "61*," delivered the presented OAL (Cronin) sphere to his nine year-old boy, inscribed "To Mike Gross, Best of Luck, Roger Maris." Upon the opposite panel, the notation "Sept 26, 1961, #60."
There's only one problem. The purported sixtieth home run ball is on display at the Roger Maris Museum at West Acres Shopping Center in Maris' Fargo, North Dakota hometown. So while this fact renders definitive identification of this ball as the one that brought Maris level with the Babe impossible, we can be certain at the very least that the ball was autographed on that momentous day, and that it was almost assuredly used in the contest.
Today all ink retains a boldness of 7/10, with the lightly toned horsehide providing the appearance of a game used model. It is accompanied by a photograph of the young Michael Gross, now a noted author, posing with Roger Maris at spring training. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication. Pre-certified by PSA/DNA.
Guide Value or Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000.
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