SCP Auctions’ most recent memorabilia and sports card auction closed on Saturday with some significant sales. Most notably, the bat Babe Ruth said he used to hit his 500th home run sold for just over $1 million.
The Bambino’s bat was expected to be a popular item and it was. Because of its value, it drew only a total of seven bids with most being priced out. But the final price of $1,000,800 far exceeded the opening $150,000 bid amount. The winning bidder’s name wasn’t released.
“Babe Ruth memorabilia continues to be among the most prized artifacts for all worldwide collectors,” said SCP Auctions President Kohler, “and this outstanding bat proved that once again.”
The bat was consigned by the descendant of former Suffern, NY mayor Jim Rice, who was a close friend of Ruth’s and received it sometime during the 1940s. PSA/DNA authenticated the bat as a Ruth gamer from the era in which he belted the homer in 1929.
Another Ruth bat, signed and inscribed “With Best Wishes,” netted $90,999.
The second-highest selling item in the auction was a 1920s game-worn jersey from former Original Celtics member Joe Lapchick. The pre-war jersey was an important item from one of the earliest professional basketball teams. The Original Celtics were one of the most successful teams around and primarily barnstormed around the country, playing a variety of opponents.
Lapchick was known as one of the best of the early big men to play the game. Card collectors will recognize his name as he was one of the few basketball players to be featured in Goudey’s 1933 Sport Kings set.
Lapchick’s jersey did not come close to Ruth’s bat. But fetching an astonishing $151,652, it clearly did quite well.
Another $100,000 item in the auction was a 1978 New York Yankees World Series ring that had been presented to Mickey Mantle. The ring was made available directly by Mantle’s family.
Retiring at the age of 36 after the 1968 season, Mantle had long since retired. Still, he received the ring from the Yankees, anyway, and the impressive piece of jewelry sold for $100,081.
The signed and inscribed bat and ball from Alex Rodriguez’ 600th home run both sold in the auction, with the ball bringing $97,700 and the bat $80,592.
While the auction was led by memorabilia, it included some impressive card offerings. The most expensive card auction was a complete 1956 Topps set with all cards graded a PSA 8 or better, selling for $55,152. The most expensive individual card lot was a PSA 4 Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card, which sold for $30,343.