VISALIA, Calif. -- It's been difficult for Dale Ball to keep his emotions in check.
Ball says a 1921 Babe Ruth card he bought for $2 has been authenticated.
"You don't know how much it took my heart, three weeks ago when we got that report - to know that I had the real thing," he says. "To watch my mom look at me and say, I finally believe you and for my dad to know that I had something that was going to fix us all and take care of us."
Ball says the card is a genuine 1921 Babe Ruth W575.1b card made by the Shotwell company.
He says he brought his Babe Ruth card to a lab to put it through a fiber ID process and compare it to another card from the same era.
Fresno State Anthropology professor John Pryor studies items such as Native American artifacts. Baseball cards are new to him but he analyzed the lab results of the Babe Ruth card.
"They were able to suggest that it was within the time frame that the date for this card would be. So between the inks and the fiber analysis, both are at least consistent with that time period," he says.
As a result, Dale Ball now feels like a million bucks.
"I was told by an auction place back east that the beginning bid would start at $1.5 (million) through them and that it would probably go for $4.5 (million) and up."
They're life-changing figures for a bigger-than-life ballpark figure but Dale also offered this off-speed pitch.
"It deserves to be on the wall of Yankee Stadium, right next to Babe Ruth's statue. It deserves to go home."
Ball reasons he doesn't have to sell the Babe Ruth card because he can also sell a host of other high-priced, old cards of Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Walter Johnson... even an old Cleveland team card featuring "Shoeless Joe Jackson."