Baseball signed by Zelenskyy sells at auction for $50,000

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Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. displace / dɪsˈpleɪs / (v.) – to force someone to leave his/her home, country, etc.

    The ongoing war in the country displaced millions of people.

  2. auctioneer / ˌɔk ʃəˈnɪər / (n.) – someone who’s in charge of an auction

    The auctioneer started the bidding for the vintage watch at $150.

  3. proceeds / ˈprəʊ siːdz / (n.) – money earned from a transaction, event, or activity

    All the proceeds from the concert will go to the typhoon victims.

  4. transmittal letter / trænsˈmɪt l ˈlɛt ər / (n.) – a business letter that gives information about another document

    Please read the transmittal letter to get an idea of the contents of the 10-page document.

  5. naturalist / ˈnætʃ ər ə lɪst / (n.) – a person who studies plants, animals, and other living things

    Charles Darwin was a well-known naturalist.


Read the text below.

A baseball signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sold at auction for more than $50,000, a portion of which will go toward providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians displaced by the nation’s war with Russia, auctioneer RR Auction of Boston said Thursday.

The winning bid for the Rawlings Major League baseball in the auction that closed Wednesday was more than three times what it was expected to sell for.

RR Auction will donate its $15,000 cut of the sale, while seller Randy Kaplan will also donate an undisclosed portion of his proceeds, to provide humanitarian aid through the global nonprofit Americares.

Kaplan is a well-known collector of baseballs signed by world leaders who rarely auctions his prized pieces.

The winning bidder wished to remain anonymous, but was described by RR Auction as a “collector from the Midwest who is thrilled to have some of the funds go to the Ukraine relief effort.”

The ball is signed with black felt tip in Ukrainian Cyrillic and Latin letters. It is accompanied by a transmittal letter signed by Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations.

Documents signed by British naturalist Alfred Wallace, inventor Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein and Founding Fathers John Hancock and John Adams also sold in the same auction.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The baseball was sold for more than $50,000, and a portion will go to humanitarian aid for Ukrainians displaced by the war. If you could afford it, would you be willing to bid on the item? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Aside from auctions, what are other effective ways to support social causes (ex. crowdfunding, online campaigns)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your opinion, what increases the value of an auctioned item (ex. the identity of the original owner, the rarity of the item)? Discuss.
  • What personal item would you put up for auction? Why? Discuss.