The Babe would get a chuckle out of the prices paid for a couple of his old war clubs during Mastro Auctions’ latest catalog sale.
The famous line once delivered by baseball’s most iconic player was delivered in response to a question about his salary surpassing that of the president of the United States.
“I had a better year than he did,” was supposedly Babe Ruth’s answer.
Now, the Babe’s best surviving bats are selling for as much or more than he made as a player.
A circa-1924 Ruth game used bat sold for $108,000 late last week in Mastro Auctions’ latest Premier Catalog auction. The Babe’s salary in 1924? $52,000.
While that amount translates into bigger bucks by today’s standards, there’s no denying the continued popularity of Babe Ruth memorabilia. The bat, which held the provenance of being obtained directly from Ruth himself during a post-season barnstorming trip, is graded A-10 by MEARS. Bidding closed at $90,000 and the final price includes a 20% buyer’s premium.
It wasn’t the only Ruth bat in the Mastro auction, however. Another bat, dating from the 1928-29 era and grading GU 8, sold for $48,000 including the added fee.
Vintage sports cards made up another popular part of the sale with the heavier hitters who were active bidders. A 1912 Hassan Triple Folders set of 132 sold for $60,000 while an 1888 Goodwins Champions SGC-graded set of 50 sold for $46,000. A 1968 Topps 3-D test set missing one card, but including a PSA 9 Roberto Clemente, brought $38,400. A hybrid set of 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack cards went to its new home for a realized price of $36,000.
Other highlights included:
- T206 set (519 of 524) $33,600
- 1921-1935 Exhibit card collection of 535 with HOFers $33,600
- 1951 Joe DiMaggio game used All Star bat $33,600
- T206 Ty Cobb (PSA 8) $31,200
- 1948 Leaf Satchel Paige rookie card (GAI 8) $31,200
See Babe Ruth cards and memorabilia on eBay here.