Sports memorabilia that can be tied to specific moments in history always carries a premium. Today, those with solid provenance to a iconic moment in time can sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the case of an early Babe Ruth uniform, even millions. That has meant trouble for some of the nation’s sports museums and Halls of Fame as the original owners come calling to reclaim their memorabilia.
When Don Larsen was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions in the 1960s, he gladly turned over his 1956 World Series perfect game uniform. That’s where it sat for decades until Larsen decided he wanted it back. The museum had no paperwork to prove it was a donation rather than a loan.
Now, he’s teamed with Steiner Sports to sell the uniform. He says proceeds will pay for his grandchildren to go to college.
They should be in for a full ride.
Some say the uniform could sell for more than $1 million.
Other museums and Halls have seen displayed items walk back out the door for similar reasons and are now being careful to document items that are turned over to ensure that all parties know who owns what. The New York Times delves into the ownership question from several angles.