One question that we get a lot here at Imperial Sports is why single-signed baseballs are considered rarer and more valuable than multi signed baseballs. Before we get to that question, let’s first take a look at what we mean when we say single signed and multi signed baseballs. A single signed baseball is an autographed baseball signed by just one player, whereas a multi signed (or multi autographed) baseball is signed by more than one player.
Why is there such a difference between the value of a single signed baseball and a multi signed one? The reason is because it’s easier to determine the value of a single signed baseball, as there is just one signature and we are better able to assess the quality of just one signature, by one player, and determine just how rare or common such a signature is. One of the misconceptions in regards to multi-signed baseballs by collectors or fans that bring them to us is that they believe you add up the total value of each individual signature on the baseball, but that is just inaccurate.
In order to properly valuate a multi-signed baseball we must take into consideration how desirable the signatures are as a group, the quality of each signature on the baseball, and whether there was any personalization that took place. Once we’ve accomplished that then we can begin to determine its value by figuring out the worth of the signature with the highest value. That is typically a good starting point when we try to determine the value of the baseball as a whole. It’s important to keep in mind that the value of a multi signed baseball relies on how desirable the other signatures that appear on the baseball are in relation to the most desired signature on that baseball. The overall value of the baseball will go up or down because of those factors.
Babe Ruth Single Signed versus Multi-Signed Baseball Values
A good example of this taking place is with a player such as Babe Ruth, who is one of the more sought after signatures by collectors and fans alike. A single signed baseball by Babe Ruth, depending on the quality of the ball and the signature, could be valued as high as $15k but a multi signed Babe Ruth baseball is generally only valued around $5,000. As you can see, a multi signed baseball – even with the signature of The Great Bambino himself – is only about a third of what it would be if it had just his one signature on it.
Now that you know the difference between a single signed baseball, a multi signed baseball and how each are valued, you should now have a sense of what to expect when trying to place a value on your own collection, or whether a multi signed baseball is a smarter investment as a collector over a single signed baseball.