Baseballs signed by Babe Ruth stolen from Kansas bar

Wichita EagleJuly 30, 2009 

WICHITA< Kan. — Two baseballs signed by Babe Ruth and other sports memorabilia items were stolen from a Wichita sports bar shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

The balls were taken from a display case at Players Sports Bar in the 6200 block of West 21st Street, Capt. Darrell Haynes said.

Also taken were a Mickey Mantle baseball card, a 1985 Kansas City Royals championship ring, rings from Super Bowls IX and X, and Big 8 championship rings for Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The combined value of the stolen items is "in excess of $50,000," Haynes said.

A baseball in good condition with a clear Babe Ruth autograph could be worth $75,000 alone, said Joe Ruocco, owner of the sports memorabilia shop Rock's Dugout at 3232 N. Rock Road.

The timing of the thefts is likely no coincidence, Ruocco said. The 30th National Sports Collectors Convention began Wednesday in Cleveland and runs through Sunday.

"If they were to get rid of them, that's the best place to do it," Ruocco said. "There's a lot of high-end buyers there."

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