BOSTON – An incredibly rare baseball signed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy sold for $50,103 at RR Auction on May 11.
The Official Rawlings Major League baseball originates from the Randy L. Kaplan Collection of signed baseballs from world leaders and heads of state. The ball is signed with black felt tip both in Ukrainian Cyrillic and Latin letters. It was accompanied by a transmittal letter signed by Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko.
Once an actor and comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskyy ran in Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election as a political outsider and anti-corruption figure, capturing more than 70% of the second-round vote. In many ways, it was a classic episode of life imitating art — he grew popular as the star of the TV show Servant of the People playing a teacher who is unexpectedly elected president after a rant against government corruption goes viral. Because of his background, many around the world underestimated Zelenskyy’s ability to govern.
Now confronted with an invasion by Russian forces, Zelenskyy has shown unmatched courage in the face of disaster. He has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to democratic ideals and to the people of Ukraine — offered a special-ops extraction from the besieged Kyiv, he famously replied: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.” Zelenskyy has rightfully earned the admiration of friends of liberty worldwide and is poised to go down in history as one of the iconic leaders of the 21st century.
RR Auction will contribute all proceeds – more than $15,000 – to the Ukrainian support effort. Mr. Kaplan, who is also donating a portion of the proceeds, has asked to keep his donation amount private.
“We are thrilled with the price achieved and show our support with our donation to help the people in Ukraine,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston.
Additional highlights from the sale include a letter signed by British naturalist, explorer and biologist Alfred Russel Wallace, which sold for $86,135; a Nikola Tesla-signed letter on Gerlach Hotel letterhead, which realized $43,750; and a typewritten and signed letter from Albert Einstein, discussing quantum theory, which achieved $42,350.
The Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction began on April 14 and concluded on May 11. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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