1920 Game-Used Babe Ruth Jersey Sells for Record $4.4 Million
Back in his playing days, Babe Ruth set a lot of records. Now, nearly 64 years since he passed away, the slugger has set another one. Over the weekend, a game-used Ruth jersey sold for $4,415,658, the highest known price ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia.
The piece, a 1920 New York Yankees road jersey, is the earliest known Ruth jersey. Further adding to its historical significance is that it comes from the slugger's first season in the Bronx. It was also the year where he broke the single-season home run record, knocking 54 round trippers in 142 games.
Lelands.com, another memorabilia dealer, submitted the winning bid. They have already said they plan to resell the jersey privately rather than putting it back on the auction block.
The jersey is one of very few Ruth gamers believed to remain intact. It comes with a letter of authenticity from MEARS and is graded A8.
The previous record high price for a piece of sports memorabilia was set in December, 2010 when the original set of basketball rules written by Dr. James Naismith sold at Sotheby's for $4,338,500. The previous record for a piece of baseball memorabilia was the T206 Honus Wagner, which was once owned by Wayne Gretzky, that sold for $2.8 million in 2007.
Prior to the sale, the Ruth jersey was loaned to the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore where it was on public display between 2004 and 2009.
This wasn't the only major piece sold by SCP over the weekend. Here are other highlights from the same auction, along with their winning bids:
- 1927-28 Babe Ruth Game-Used Bat - $591,007
- 1930s Babe Ruth Game-Worn Yankees Hat - $537,278 (This is the same hat once owned and worn by pitcher David Wells)
- 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente RC PSA 10 - $432,690 (Dmitri Young Collection)
- 1968 Mickey Mantle Autographed Game-Used Yankees Jersey - $366,967
- 1954 Topps Hank Aaron RC PSA 10 - $357,954 (Dmitri Young Collection)
- Lawrence Taylor 1991 Super Bowl Ring - $230,401
- 1951 Bobby Thompson Game-Worn New York Giants Hat - $173,102 (worn when he hit the 'Shot Heard 'Round the World)