BOSTON (AP) — A baseball signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sold at auction for more than $50,000, a portion of which will go toward providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians displaced by the nation’s war with Russia, auctioneer RR Auction of Boston said Thursday.
The winning bid for the Rawlings Major League baseball in the auction that closed Wednesday was more than three times what is was expected to sell for.
RR Auction will donate its $15,000 cut of the sale, while seller Randy Kaplan will also donate an undisclosed portion of his proceeds, to provide humanitarian aid through the global nonprofit Americares.
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.”
The ball is signed with black felt tip in Ukrainian Cyrillic and Latin letters. It is accompanied by a transmittal letter signed by Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations.
Documents signed by British naturalist Alfred Wallace, inventor Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein and Founding Fathers John Hancock and John Adams also sold in the same auction.