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5 Babe Ruth Memorabilia Items With Eye-Popping Price Tags

Hardcore collectors (including Charlie Sheen) dropped big bucks on The Babe’s collection

ruth memorabilia mobile
Getty Images

The Sultan of Swat. The King of Crash. The Colossus of Clout. The Great Bambino.

 

If that just gave you intense flashbacks to watching The Sandlot in your elementary school classroom, join the club. Eighty-four years after he retired from the game, Babe Ruth’s legacy is immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame, countless films and books, Baby Ruth candy bars and a number of prized collectibles that he left behind. 

 

A Babe Ruth jersey recently sold for $5.64 million, smashing the previous $4.4 million record (also held by The Babe) for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold. His home run ball, all-star jersey and more are among the most valuable baseball keepsakes. And unsurprisingly so. Babe Ruth’s storied rise to international fame and lasting impact on America’s pastime is the stuff of legends. 

 

For those dreaming of owning a piece of Babe’s personal collection, get your wallets ready because these items are not for the amateur collector. All with prices in the millions, here are the five most expensive Babe Ruth collectibles ever sold. 

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Hunt Auctions

1. New York Yankees Jersey From 1928-1930

Sold: $5.64 million

 

This record-setting Babe Ruth heirloom joined a small collection of items sold at Yankee Stadium by Hunt Auctions. The auction gathered pieces from third-party collectors as well as Babe Ruth’s surviving family members. The legend’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, said, “Babe's collection has remained largely unknown to the general public and we felt it was time to bring these amazing pieces of his life to light.”

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SCP Auctions

2. New York Yankees Jersey From 1920

Sold: $4.4 million

 

Before the 1928-1930 jersey (above), this circa 1920 Babe jersey held the record for the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold. The item sold in 2012 to Lelands.com, a sports memorabilia auction house, and a spokesperson said they would sell the jersey privately. It is the earliest existing jersey known to be worn by The Babe, and it had previously lived at The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore.

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Lelands

3. Contract That Moved Him to the Yankees

Sold: $2.3 million

 

After six seasons with the Red Sox and three World Series wins, Babe Ruth found a new home with the Yankees in a historic purchase. For only $125,000 (or around $1.66 million today adjusted for inflation), the Yankees bought the player who would accrue enough revenue to move the team to the new Yankee Stadium, “the house that Ruth built.” An original copy of the contract, previously owned by Charlie Sheen, sold in 2017 for twice the amount that the other original copy did in 2005. 

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Lelands

4. World Series Ring

Sold: $2.1 million

 

The Yankees dominated the 1927 World Series by sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games, and Babe Ruth contributed two crucial home runs in the series-clinching game. His ring—inscribed with “G H Ruth” (for George Herman Ruth)—also belonged to Sheen. It sold for more than four times the price of any other sports ring auctioned previously. Sheen owned both the ring and the contract for approximately 20 years and said he “felt it was time for a new owner.”

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

5. Bat From First Home Run at Yankee Stadium

Sold: $1.3 million 

 

Babe Ruth hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium against none other than the Red Sox—a team plagued by the supposed “Curse of the Bambino” for 86 years. Ruth is quoted as saying, “I'd give a year of my life if I can hit a home run in the first game in this new park.” On April 18, 1923, he got his wish on the stadium’s opening day. A Chicago sports memorabilia company, Mastronet, Inc., purchased the bat in 2004—the same year Boston’s decades-long drought is said to have ended. 

 

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