A baseball signed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has sold at auction for more than $50,000, with a portion of the proceeds going to Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion.
A Boston auctioneer, RR Auction, said the winning bid for the Rawlings Major League baseball was more than three times its estimate. The company will donate its $15,000 cut from the sale. The seller, Randy Kaplan, will donate an undisclosed portion of his proceeds to the global non-profit Americares.
The ball is signed in black felt tip in Ukrainian Cyrillic and Latin letters. It is accompanied by a letter signed by Volodymyr Yelchenko, the permanent representative of Ukraine to the United Nations.
Kaplan is a well-known collector of baseballs signed by world leaders who rarely auctions his prized pieces. The winning bidder wished to remain anonymous, but was described by RR Auction as a “collector from the midwest who is thrilled to have some of the funds go to the Ukraine relief effort”.
Documents signed by the British naturalist Alfred Wallace, inventor Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein and founders John Hancock and John Adams were sold in the same auction.