A California man was sentenced today to two years of probation for trying to sell a 19th century baseball glove that he falsely claimed was owned by Babe Ruth.
Irving Scheib, who pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, was also ordered by a New York federal judge to refrain from selling any memorabilia while on probation.
On January 12, 2012, Irving Scheib purchased a 19th century baseball glove on eBay for $750, which was described as an "1890's Full Web Workman Baseball Mitt," according to federal authorities. At the time he bought the glove, Scheib knew that the glove had no connection to Babe Ruth, federal officials stated.
After buying the glove, Scheib set out to resell the glove by fraudulently claiming that it was used by Babe Ruth.
Scheib told a sports memorabilia broker in Nevada that the glove was a family heirloom that was given to them by Babe Ruth.
Scheib claimed that the deceased Hollywood actor, Robert Young, to whom Scheib is related by marriage, obtained the glove from Ruth. Scheib also sent fake documents to the memorabilia dealer corroborating this fabricated provenance, and falsely claimed in a letter that the glove "was gifted to Babe Ruth's personal friend and Golden Era Star Robert Young in 1944...[and that Ruth] was so affectionate towards this glove that he slept with it under his pillow at the orphanage."
These fake documents, in turn, were sent to an individual interested in purchasing the glove (the buyer). After paying for the glove, the buyer asked Scheib to notarize one of the letters attesting to the glove's provenance that was signed by Scheib and purportedly signed by Scheib's wife, who is Young's granddaughter. Scheib refused to do so, and the buyer accordingly returned the glove.
Scheib then tried to con another man by alleging that Babe Ruth owned the glove.
But the other potential buyer turned out to be an investigator for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In addition to probation, the judge ordered Scheib, 50, of Bonsall, California, to pay a $25,000 fine. He also agreed to forfeit the glove to the United States.