Story: My mom bought this for me at a garage sale in Illinois back in the early 1990s. The woman running the sale sold it to us for $30 and said a family member (father maybe?) worked for the Dodgers during that time and got the team to sign the ball during the World Series in either '77 or '78. Using baseball-reference.com and simply googling for other autograph exemplars leads me to believe this is the real deal. While I can't verify the ball was signed during the World Series, I can confirm it's from the '77 team based on the collected signatures listed below.

The ball itself is also from 1977 according to this site - https://keymancollectibles.com/balls/1977officialnationalleaguebaseball1986.htm. The key indicator for identifying the age of the ball is the "Dot Dating System". In 1977 the balls have 2 dots under "Haiti" which is under the Rawlings logo. 1977 was the first year Rawlings made baseballs for MLB, taking over for Spalding. You can read more about the history of baseball making here - https://www.cardboardconnection.com/collecting-official-league-baseballs. In 1978 Rawlings would begin to print a commemorative World Series logo. Back to the 1977 series, the home team would supply the baseballs. The Dodgers would have baseballs with RO-N (Rawlings Official - National) and the Yankees RO-A (Rawlings Official - American). Adding to this is American League balls were stamped in blue while National League balls were stamped black.

  • Is it a 1977 World Series ball? Could be!
  • Were the signatures collected in 1977? Probably!
  • Is the baseball from 1977? Yes!

If it is a World Series ball, it would have come from Games 3, 4, or 5.

Speaking of those signatures, here's what I found for each signature:

  1. Steve Garvey, 1B, 1969-1987. Career WAR 38.1. 1974 NL MVP, 2x NLCS MVP, 10x All-Star, 2x All-Star MVP, 4x Gold Glove, 1981 WS Champion
  2. Johnny Oates, CA, 1970-1981. Career WAR -2.7. 1x Manager of the Year
  3. Ted Martinez, 2B, 1970-1979. Career WAR -2.7.
  4. Charlie Hough, RP, 1970-1994. Career WAR 39.0. 1x All-Star
  5. Ron Cey, 3B, 1971-1987. Career WAR 26.2. 6x All-Star, 1981 WS Champion, 1981 WS MVP
  6. Manny Mota, LF, 1962-1982. Career WAR 17.6. 1x All-Star
  7. Monty Basgall, IF/Bench Coach,
  8. Reggie Smith, RF, 1966-1982. Career WAR 64.6. 7x All-Star, 1x Gold Glove, 1981 WS Champion
  9. Dusty Baker, LF, 1968-1986. Career WAR 37.0. 1x NLCS MVP, 2x All-Star, 1x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger, 1981 WS Champion, 3x Manager of the Year
  10. Bill Russell, SS, 1696-1986. Career WAR 31.3. 3x All-Star, 1981 WS Champion
  11. Red Adams, Pitching Coach,
  12. Mark Creese, Bullpen Coach,
  13. Mike Garman, RP, 1969-1978. Career WAR 2.5
  14. Jerry Grote, UT, 1963-1981. Career WAR 15.1. 2x All-Star, 1969 WS Champion
  15. Lee Lacy, UT, 1972-1987. Career WAR 20.2. 1979 WS Champion
  16. Tom Lasorda, Manager, 1976-1998. Hall of Fame, 2x World Series, 4x Pennant, 2x Manager of the Year
  17. Burt Hooton, SP, 1971-1985. Career WAR 36.4. 1x NLCS MVP, 1x All-Star, 1981 WS Champion
  18. Launce Rautzhan, RP, 1977-1979. Career WAR -0.2
  19. Rick Rhoden, SP, 1974-1989. Career WAR 30.1. 2x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger
  20. Rick Monday, CF, 1966-1984. Career WAR 33.1. 2x All-Star, 1981 WS Champion
  21. Ed Goodson, CI, 1970-1977. Career WAR -0.1