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A baseball signed by President John F. Kennedy during an historic trip to Venezuela in late-1961 is up for auction, one of the most coveted presidential John Hancocks, and the ball could sell for upwards of $200K!
The Spalding “Associacion Venezuela de Baseball Professional” ball that SCP Auctions is selling was signed on December 18, 1961, shy of two years before Kennedy’s tragic death, when the first-term president traveled to meet Venezuelan president Rómulo Betancourt.
A newspaper reporter named Julio Messuti carried around the ball for days, hoping JFK would sign it … and as the trip drew to a close, he got his chance, somehow getting by Secret Service and reaching Kennedy, who signed the ball.
The paper El Universal published a photo of POTUS signing the ball.
There’s a massive market for baseballs signed by U.S. presidents — the rarer, the better — and there aren’t that many JFK-signed balls that have been authenticated.
“As far as sports memorabilia goes, there is high interest in baseballs signed by our past Presidents, with the game being America’s National pastime going back over 125+ years,” David Kohler, SCP president, told us.
“JFK signed baseballs are some of the rarest in all the collecting community with only a handful ever authenticated by the foremost experts.”
As we reported in 2020, Donald Trump signed baseballs were selling in the $2,000 to $3,000 price range — a stark contrast from the $1,000 price point memorabilia shops were getting when he first assumed the White House in 2017 — despite his polarizing persona.
There have already been 9 bids for the ball … with the top number currently at $53,594.
As expensive as that is for a ball, it’s safe to say the price will continue to rise as the auction draws to a close on Saturday.