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Babe Ruth Centennial Auction to Include Early Bat, Rookie Card

Goldin Auctions and Steiner Sports will hold what is being called the largest ever auction of Babe Ruth memorabilia next summer in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of The Babe’s Major League Baseball debut.

The Babe Ruth Centennial Auction will be conducted online but culminate with a live auction format, Saturday, July 12 at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore.

1916 Babe Ruth batAmong the items up for bid will be a Ruth rookie-era bat, circa 1916, and a 1914 Ruth Baltimore News rookie card as well as several other historic Yankees items.

A special preview night at the museum for registered bidders will be held on July 11. Appropriately, the Yankees will be in Baltimore to face the Orioles that weekend.

“As a player, Babe Ruth was in a class by himself and appropriately his influence on the sports collectibles industry is unmatched,” explains Ken Goldin, Founder of GoldinAuctions. “The Babe did everything big, so it’s appropriate to celebrate him with the biggest sports memorabilia auction ever. We’re excited to partner with the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and Steiner Sports to bring these great Babe Ruth treasures to auction.”

Autographed Babe Ruth baseballSteiner Sports will aid in the marketing and promotion of the event and provide memorabilia from Yankee Stadium, game-used Yankee items, plus high-end collectibles and fan experiences.

“Babe Ruth was a larger than life icon and had countless magical moments which took place on Yankee Stadium soil. We are pleased to be a part of this historic event with Goldin Auctions and the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum,” stated Brandon Steiner, President of Steiner Sports, in a news release.

Consignments of Ruth, Yankees or other rare sports artifacts can have their items appraised for consignment into the auction. Collectors interested in registering to bid in the auction and attend the Live Auction and/or preview night can do so at www.GoldinAuctions.com.

The auction will include up to 200 super–premium items   plus more than 1,500 items for sale exclusively online. Many of the key items in the auction, including many of Ruth’s personal effects, will be available for viewing at both the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards leading up to the auction.

The early Ruth bat, graded PSA GU-9 is a recent discovery according to the auction house, having been in the possession of the original owner’s family in Massachusetts for 97 years.  Goldin says it is one of the three earliest known Ruth bats to be graded and authenticated, and the highest graded of the three.

Red 1914 Babe Ruth rookie cardAlthough not as famous as The T206 Wagner, the 1914 Baltimore News Ruth card may be just as rare and valuable. In fact, a recent version graded PSA1 sold for more than a comparably graded Wagner.

Other items already consigned to the auction include a 1932 Ruth game-used bat (PSA GU-10) with Yankees provenance including a letter and a 1920’s era signed Ruth bat.

“We are excited that all the patrons of our museum will be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s major league debut with us throughout 2014 with new additions of historic memorabilia on display,” added John Hein, Director of Business Development Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards.

Goldin says his company will conduct a ‘Babe Ruth Road Show’ beginning next month, scouring the country, accompanied by a TV production crew from Silent Crow Arts, looking for Ruth artifacts.  A television special will be produced in advance of the auction.  The crew plans to stop in New York, Boston, Baltimore, California and multiple Midwest cities.

Although the Ruth items are the centerpieces of the auction, collectors will also have the opportunity to bid on other historic Yankee pieces including a game-used Joe DiMaggio bat from the season of his 56-game hitting streak, MVP and World Series championship; a Mickey Mantle 1966 game used and signed fielder’s glove which is the last glove he wore as a centerfielder; Mantle’s 1960 player’s contract; a 1951Mantle rookie game used and signed bat; plus a Yogi Berra game used catcher’s mitt and mask.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].