JFK’s Autographed Baseballs Estimated To Reel In $250,000 At Auction

Two autographed baseballs of former President John F. Kennedy could score a quarter-million dollars total at auction. Hunt Auctions is currently selling JFK’s signed first pitch baseball and a separate autographed baseball to a Washington Senators manager.

Signed President John F. Kennedy first pitch baseball
Signed President John F. Kennedy first pitch baseball. (credit: Hunt Auctions)

The first pitch baseball has an estimated value of $75,000-$150,000, while the other ball is between $50,000-$100,000.

Kennedy threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 1961 MLB season when the Chicago White Sox faced the Senators in Washington, D.C. It came three months after JFK’s inauguration when he gave his iconic “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” speech.

“As customary for the home opener ceremonies, the President would toss the ball onto the field with the Washington players competing for the coveted treasure. Senators left handed pitcher Harold (Hal) Woodeshick was the lucky recipient catching the ball on the run after it bounced off several players’ hands as seen on period video. The ball was then brought by Woodeshick to President Kennedy who signed the side panel in blue ink, ‘To Harold, Best Wishes John F. Kennedy.’ Signature remains quite strong rating 7/8 out of 10,” Hunt Auctions writes in the description lot.

The second autographed JFK baseball Hunt Auctions is offering was given to former Senators manager Mickey Vernon and comes from his personal collection.

Autographed baseball from former President John F. Kennedy
Autographed baseball from former President John F. Kennedy. (credit: Hunt Auctions)

“The ball was signed by President Kennedy for Mickey Vernon during the Washington Senators opening day games between 1961 and 1963. Kennedy attended the Senators’ opening day home games in 1961, 1962, and 1963, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch each time. As manager of the Senators, Vernon was afforded the opportunity to meet the President prior to the start of the opening home games from the aforementioned three seasons as evidenced by period photographic images. The ball itself shows minor surface soiling, having possibly been rubbed up for game use. As several baseballs were handed to Kennedy before the first pitch for each game, it is unclear whether this particular ball was the actual first pitch thrown,” notes Hunt Auctions in the description lot.

In 2023, an autographed JFK baseball from 1963 sold for $138,600 at Christie’s.

The auction ends Monday, July 15.

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