Babe Ruth Jersey Breaks Record for Most Expensive Piece of Sports Memorabilia

Ruth Jersey
(Original Caption) Babe Ruth during the Yankees' season opener at Yankee Stadium.

Proving that he remains the biggest name in sports, a game-worn Babe Ruth jersey sold for a record-setting $5.64 million. The Babe’s New York Yankees uniform, dating to 1928-30,  was offered in an auction of items personally belonging to the slugger. The provenance of this item was likely an important contributing factor in the realization of its final sale price. 

The previous record holder for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia was also a Babe Ruth Yankees jersey. The now second place jersey was from the 1920 season and sold for $4.4 million in 2012. 

The Babe Ruth Jersey

The jersey is one of six known of its kind, a road-gray of the late ‘20s. This style of jersey lacks the renowned Yankee pinstripes. The jersey has “YANKEES” spelled out on the front. As well, although there is evidence of Ruth’s “3” having been on the jersey’s back, it has since gone missing. 

The auction was held at Yankee Stadium and included hundreds of items previously owned by Ruth. In addition to the memorabilia, items such as cards, contracts, and a checkbook crossed the auction block.  

In addition to this record, many other Ruth pieces hold expensive distinctions. A Ruth World Series ring holds the record for the most expensive championship ring. As well, one of his caps and one of his hats also are the most expensive of their kind, respectively. 

Babe Ruth – The Legend

Originally a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth is best remembered today as a slugger for the New York Yankees. In a career that stretched from 1914-1935, Ruth won the World Series three times with the Red Sox before winning it four times with the Yankees. Ruth led the league in home runs 12 times. As well, Ruth compiled a 94-46 record as a left-handed pitcher before moving to the outfield. 

Ruth’s career culminated in his introduction into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s inaugural class. Ruth died at age 53 of nasopharyngeal cancer in 1948. His birthplace has since been turned into a museum and is situated only three blocks west of Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

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