On August 1st the St. Louis Cardinals announced that newly acquired pitcher John Lackey would be wearing his standard jersey number 41 with his new club. Prior to the trade, #41 was worn by reliever Pat Neshek and some were wondering what Lackey had to pay out to get the All-Star's number.

On Wednesday afternoon, Neshek tweeted out to the world a photo of the payment:

Is Lackey an idiot? 

Who in their right mind would give up an autographed Babe Ruth baseball to simply rent out the #41 for the rest of the season?

John Lackey, that's who.

In my mind I was thinking that this baseball would probably be worth tens of thousands of dollars, but I wasn't sure so I did a bit of research.

My research took me, of course, to Ebay where I found a wide range of prices for "Babe Ruth autographed baseballs". 

Based on the condition of the ball, the slightly faded nature of the signature, and the fact that it isn't signed on the "signature sweet spot" I would estimate the value of the ball to be in the $4000-$6000 range. The certificate of authenticity is a nice bonus that could push the value slightly higher if sold at an auction.

Apparently my first instincts were wrong and the transaction appears to be a pretty fair trade between millionaires.

H/T - Deadspin

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