A Babe Ruth baseball card and a game-used barnstorming cap sold for a combined $221,075 in an auction held over the weekend.
If Babe Ruth had known he was giving a new lady friend a cap that would someday sell for more money than he made in a season playing for the Yankees, he might have reconsidered his gesture.
The Babe’s barnstorming cap, worn on a trip to California in the late 1920s, drew a lot of attention in Heritage Galleries’ catalog sale over the weekend. The cap sold for $131,450 including the company’s 19.5% buyer’s premium. Passed down through the original recipient’s family, the cap was given to a woman described as a hotel pastry chef at the conclusion of Ruth’s ‘Bustin’ Babes’ tour.
A 1933 Goudey #149 Ruth baseball card, one of just two graded SGC 92 (mint), sold to an internet bidder for $89,625.
A total of 970 bidders competed for 1,070 lots in the auction, with 324 submitting successful bids for an overall total of $2,866,371. With ongoing after-auction sales, the total could still push higher.
Several other Ruth cards sold, including another card from the ’33 Goudey set. #144, graded SGC 80, brought $6572. A 1928 Star Player Candy Ruth, graded SGC 40, brought $10,755. Other Ruth memorabilia included a signed retail bat from the 1930s ($22,705) and two single-signed balls ($19,120 and $11,950).
As always, Yankees memorabilia was much sought after. A 1953 World Series ring, presented to Joe Collins, sold for $31,070. Joe DiMaggio’s 1940 signed player’s contract sold for $13,145. DiMaggio hit .352 that season, and the contract spells out his salary: $32,500. A 1932 Yankees team-signed ball brought $14,340 and included the autographs of Ruth and Lou Gehrig. A ball signed by both Ruth and Ty Cobb brought $11,352.
Among the other vintage baseball cards and sets sold was a complete 1954 Wilson Franks graded set of 20. Ranging from EX to MT, the set brought $28,441. A 1909 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson, graded PSA 3.5, sold for $26,290 while a near set of T206 cards in mid-lower grade found a new home for $20,315. The set included 513 of the 524 cards.
Rare game-worn hockey jerseys continue to sell for freakishly high prices. A 1932-33 Harry Oliver game-worn Boston Bruins jersey went for $23,900 while a 1935-35 Russ Blinco Montreal Maroons sweater drew a winning bid of $35,850 including the ‘juice’.
Other sports memorabilia sold by Heritage included:
- Gabby Street’s 1931 Cardinals World Series ring ($21,510)
- 1972-73 Nate Archibald game-worn jersey ($19,120)
- 1942 Sugar Ray Robinson fight-worn robe ($19,120)
- 1910 E125 American Caramel Jim Jeffries ($19,120)
- 1910 World Series program from Shibe Park ($17,925)
- 1940 Play Ball near set 235 of 240 cards SGC graded ($17.925)
- 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card #253 SGC 86 ($17,925)
- 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie PSA 7 ($7,767)
- 1888-89 Old Judge King Kelly SGC 80 ($16,730)
- 1952 Bowman Willie Mays #218 SGC 96 ($15,535)
- 1972 Topps cloth stickers Roberto Clemente PSA 9 ($15,535)
- 1921 New York Giants team signed baseball ($15,535)
- 1914 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb PSA 6 ($13,145)
- 1940s Honus Wagner single-signed ball ($12,547)