Even on the ice, Babe Ruth memorabilia is a hot ticket item.
For hockey fans, that was a different kind of stick. But someone paid the cash to win it.
Wednesday, it was the top money-maker in Classic Auctions’ Winter 2017 Historical Hockey Memorabilia Auction, which ended Wednesday. Ruth’s bat, a game-used Hillerich & Bradsby 40 BR (R2) Louisville Slugger, fetched a winning bid of $37,982. It was one of three lots that topped $30,000 in an auction that also included the Eric Lindros Collection.
The items were part of a 1,005-lot auction, which included mostly hockey, but also baseball game-worn jerseys and the Jacque Villeneuve auto racing Collection. Total sales were over $1.2 million. There was a 19.5 percent buyer’s premium for winning bidders.
Two items sold for $30,597 apiece — one was a game-worn uniform of Aurèle Joliat during the 1937 Howie Morenz Memorial Game, played between the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons in November 1937, eight months after the death of Morenz, a Canadiens’ star. The other was more modern — a game-worn jersey from the rookie season of Montreal Canadiens’ goalie Patrick Roy during his rookie season of 1985-86. The jersey was autographed by Roy and is believed to have been worn in January 1986.
Four more items topped $20,000 in winning bids. Selling for $25,286 was Marvin “Cy” Wentworth’s 1931-32 Chicago Blackhawks game-used, worn wool captain’s jersey. Next, at $24,655 was a game-worn jersey of “Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe, that he used while a member of the World Hockey Association’s New England Whalers in 1978-79. Howe was 50 in 1978, but still scored 19 goals and had 24 assists. A winning bid of $23,546 was gaveled for the gold medal won by Ed Belfour in the 2002 Olympics for Team Canada in Salt Lake City, and one bidder took home Dave Keon’s 1963-64 Toronto Maple Leafs game-worn jersey for $22,413. That was the season the Leafs won their 12th Stanley Cup; they would win it again in 1966-67, but have not won a Cup since.
The Lindros Collection included more than 50 items, with three different jersey items selling for the same price — $4,506. Those included the jersey Lindros wore when he scored his 40th goal during his rookie season of 1992-93, a game-worn road jersey from the same season, and his Team Canada game-worn, alternate captain’s jersey from the 1993 World Championships.
In addition to jerseys, there were signed sticks and jersey, an all-star ring from 1996, game-used gloves, autographed photos and several trophies. Lindros also auctioned off his hockey card sets — 209 of the 50-card, 1991 Classic Hockey Draft Picks series; and 95 of the 30-card Road to the NHL series. The cards netted $770.
The auction also offered plenty of different vintage hockey sets; a near-complete (44 out of 45) 1911-12 Imperial Tobacco hockey cards sold for $3,802. Another near-set — the 1924-25 William Paterson Hockey V145-2 set, with 50 of the 60 cards available in the auction — went for $2,855. And a PSA high-grade, 1961-62 Parkhurst set (56 cards) sold for $3,076.