A 1930s Babe Ruth game model bat signed by both the Bambino and teammate Lou Gehrig was the big star on Day 1 of the 2017 MLB All-Star FanFest Auction conducted by Hunt Auctions in Miami on Monday. The 35″ Louisville Slugger is the only bat known to exist that carries the autographs of both icons.
The bat originated in the collection of George D. Donnelly, a one-time Minor League player, scorekeeper, and Newport Daily News columnist. He amassed an large collection of baseball related artifacts that were first offered by Hunt Auctions in 2005.
It wasn’t the only piece of Ruth lumber offered in the sale, which had been opened to online bidding for several weeks before closing with a live event at the Miami Beach Convention Center. A 1931 Ruth bat signed to Hollywood producer Lou Breslow who worked with Ruth on some short films late in his career, soared to $317,250.
Vintage game bats adorned the cover of the auction catalog and the historic wood drew heavy action. Jackie Robinson’s 1949 All-Star Game bat, with provenance to his ownership, soared to $223,250. A 1914 Ty Cobb bat, inscribed to a former Pacific Coast League team owner and avid early collector sold for $182,125 while a Mickey Mantle bat confiscated by an umpire during one of his 1958 at-bats brought $47,000.
Prices in the sale of more than 750 items included a 17.5% buyer’s premium.
- 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 8 $282,000
- 1934 Lou Gehrig All-Star pendant $146,875
- Thurman Munson’s 1975 Gold Glove $111,625
- 1966 Brooks Robinson World Series ring $105,750
- T206 Eddie Plank PSA 3 $64,625
- 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson PSA 9 $58,470
The auction continues Tuesday with over 760 pieces of Roberto Clemente memorabilia on the block.