A bat from the earliest days of Babe Ruth’s major league career and a cap from his final season were among the big ticket items in a recent auction.
A Babe Ruth bat dating to his 1916-17 seasons with the Boston Red Sox brought a winning bid of $154,976 in an auction that closed early Saturday morning. The bat, graded PSA GU 9 and showing game use, was the top selling item in the 1,000+ lot auction.
A Boston Braves cap worn by Ruth during his final season of 1935, represented the opposite end of his career. The blue and red wool cap brought a realized price of $36,149. Winning bids included a 19.5% buyer’s premium.
Vintage baseball memorabilia dominated the sale with a circa 1908-1910 Willie Keeler game-used bat commanding a realized price of $72,957. A 1932 Ruth game-used white hickory bat brought $60,401.
Numerous game-worn baseball jerseys and uniforms were included in the sale, topped by a 1920s Red Faber White Sox jersey and socks that sold for $44,101. A circa 1929 Chick Hafey game-used Cardinals jersey brought $33,220, a 1933-34 Bill Terry gamer sold for $25,231 and a 1946 era Ernie Lombardi Giants model ended at $20,627. The post-War era was topped by a 1970 Pete Rose complete game-worn uniform. It sold for $18,752.
One of the auction’s autographed baseballs may have turned into a bargain for the winning bidder considering its significance to baseball history and overall poignancy. A mint condition, autographed Roberto Clemente baseball was consigned to the sale with a salutation in Spanish and a date–12/25/1972. The ball was obtained during a Christmas Day food and clothing drive Clemente helped engineer in his native Puerto Rico. Less than a week later, the great outfielder was killed in a plane crash while attempting to deliver the very items locals–including the consignor–had donated. The ball sold for $11,673.
A 1970 Kentucky Derby winner’s trophy from the victory by Dust Commander brought a hefty winning price of $65,725. It was one of only two Kentucky Derby trophies ever sold publicly.