A 1920s Babe Ruth contract addendum addressing his fondness for off-field activity was the meal ticket item in Heritage Auctions’ latest catalog sale. The one-of-a-kind piece sold for nearly $66,000.
Two written documents–one pertaining to Babe Ruth’s conduct and the other an intensely personal message hand-written by Lou Gehrig– drew a crowd of bidders for Heritage Auctions on Saturday.
The 1922 contract addendum, signed by Ruth and Yankees’ owner Col. Jacob Ruppert, was touted as "baseball’s first substance abuse agreement". The six-page document sold for more than the Babe made in 1922, generating a winning bid of $65,725, which includes a 19.5% buyer’s premium.
The 1939 hand-written letter, penned by Gehrig to a woman concerned with her own ALS, brought $31,070.
Game-worn items sold included a 1922 Detroit Tigers’ game uniform, originating from player Bert Cole, sold for $47,800 while a 1960s Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers jersey brought an impressive $38,837.
Among the card sets sold were a pair of highly graded vintage sets. A 1934-36 Diamond Stars collection went for $31,070 while a graded 1962 Topps set brought $28,680.
Heritage had numerous Ruth autographed baseballs in the sale, headlined by a 1927 high quality Ruth/Gehrig combo which sold for $33,460 and a Ruth/Gehrig/Miller Huggins trio that netted $26,290.
- 1922 sale of Babe Ruth promissory note $35,850
- Super Bowl XIX Dan Marino helmet $33,460
- 1927 New York Yankees team signed ball $28,680
- 1908 Cy Young loving cup $25,095
- 1969 Roger Staubach rookie jersey $22,705
- 1872 ‘oldest known football program $23,900
- 1902 Rose Bowl program $22,705
In all, the sale generated $2.5 million for Heritage, which conducted the auction via on-line, phone and live opportunities.