A north-east woman has had one of her late husband’s treasured possessions valued by a hit BBC show.
Lilian Forbes, 82, of Bridge of Don, went along to Crathes Castle to have a baseball looked at by Antiques Roadshow, which was broadcast on BBC One last night.
The ball in question had been given to her husband Alistair – who passed away from a stroke aged 89 in September.
He was given the ball during a trip to New York in 1952, and it was signed by the first black player to join a Major League Baseball side, Jackie Robinson.
An avid baseball fan, after discovering the sport on the radio, Alistair was invited to visit the Big Apple by the Brooklyn Dodgers, who have since moved to Los Angeles, after he asked them for a game schedule so he wouldn’t miss one.
Arriving after a 14-hour journey on board a propellor plane, Alistair was greeted by the Dodgers Symphony Band, and given a tour of Ebbets Field, where the team played.
Alistair’s love affair with baseball carried on well into his later life, with repeated visits back to the States along with Lilian to take in a game.
Lilian said: “He was invited over by the Brooklyn Dodgers for a holiday, and that’s how he got the baseball. It was a really big story at the time, he had his photo in the papers at the time.
“I had been going through his stuff, and my son had already written to the Antiques Roadshow to ask if they would have been interested.”
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The ball was valued by the show at between £4,000 and £6,000, however, Lilian isn’t looking to sell the item, which she said is sentimental to her.
She said: “I never expected it to be that high, but I was just looking to see how much it was worth. My husband had lots of memorabilia, and he wanted me to go along and see how much it was worth.”
After the visit, Alistair and Lilian stayed in touch with people associated with the team until just a few years ago.
Lilian recorded her appearance on the show during the summer, when Alistair was in hospital after his stroke.
Lilian said: “We did it last year, and sadly my husband never lived to be able to see the episode. I did it as a way for him to be able to remember the holiday that he had, just as something for him.”
To the day that he died, Alistair, who – among other jobs – worked at Hall Russell shipbuilders, was known as “Butch” to his friends because of his adventure in America.