The ball, which was stolen from the family's Florida home in the 1970s and not recovered until 2005, had a special place in Ted Williams' heart, his daughter said.
''It influenced his personalizations to so many kids in the future, as he always loved the way Mr. Ruth signed the ball, `Your pal,''' Claudia Williams wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Others items include Williams' 1949 American League MVP award valued between $150,000 and $250,000, a silver bat for winning the AL batting championship in 1957 valued between $100,000 and $200,000, as well as bats and jerseys that the slugger used, Hunt said as workers unpacked the memorabilia for display at a luxury suite at Fenway Park.
''These objects really just chronicle this man's life and, I think, show how great he was, not just as a baseball player,'' Hunt said.
Baseball fans who viewed the memorabilia include Malcolm Merrill, 82, whose son arranged a surprise trip from Hopkinton, NH, to Boston to check out the collection.
Merrill said the experience brought a flood of memories from the 1950s when he used to watch the slugger play or listen to the game on the radio. It was, however, memorabilia highlighting Williams' role as a US Marine at war that made Merrill emotional.
''Just to see him in uniform and to see some of the photographs that were taken with Ted in the Marines almost brought tears to my eyes -- to think that he would give up his career to be in the service of our country ... made me emotionally, you know, surprised ...'' Merrill said, trailing off as he struggled to control his emotions.
Carol Barton traveled from Lynnfield, north of Boston, to see the collection. She said she was thrilled to see Williams' household items, golf clubs, letters from presidents and even a wooden duck collection that revealed the personal side of the legendary hitter.