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Baseball signed by Babe Ruth among unclaimed items on state auction block

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Some historic items -- including a baseball signed by iconic home run-hitter Babe Ruth -- will be auctioned off this week by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The two-day auction is for unclaimed items found in Minnesota bank safety deposit boxes.

According to KSTP-TV, the state Department of Commerce tries to contact the rightful owners of unclaimed possessions for about 10 years, and if they can't be found, state law mandates that the items must go up for bids at a public auction.

In addition to the Ruth-autographed baseball (pictured, above) historic items available at the auction include World War II-era daggers, a homestead document signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, a classic Walt Disney stock certificate and a photo of baseball great Joe DiMaggio autographed by the "Yankee Clipper" on the backside.

Other items on auction block include a $1,000 bill and a 19-karat gold wristwatch.

Upsula, Minn.-based Schultz Auctioneers is conducting the auction, which in total numbers about 5,000 items.

Auctioneer Mike Schultz says "right at the moment," there are items ranging from $25 to $4,000 to $5,000 up for bids.

The last state Department of Commerce auction 10 years ago brought in approximately $250,000, KSTP reports.

The is set for Thursday and Friday at the Sheraton Minneapolis West Hotel in Minnetonka, while a preview is scheduled for Wednesday.

Bids are also being accepted online. As of midday Sunday, bids for the Ruth-autographed baseball were up to $1,800.

See KSTP's report on the auction below.

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