Thirty-two years before Hank Aaron broke his home run record, Babe Ruth spent as short time as a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers–his last regular on-field gig. A uniform from that season, part of the expansive and historic collection of memorabilia offered, sold Wednesday afternoon for $882,000.
The road flannel jersey, bearing the New York World’s Fair patch on a sleeve, was one of the top items in an auction conducted by Christie’s in partnership with Hunt Auctions.
A 1927 Gehrig bat, one apparently also favored by teammate Tony Lazzeri who ordered the same model from Louisville Slugger, sold for $504,000.
A higher grade Ruth-Gehrig signed baseball sent for $88,200 while an Exhibit card signed by Ruth and rated 8 by PSA went for $69,300.
Aaron was represented by a 1968 Atlanta Braves pinstripe jersey worn when he hit his 500th home run. Photo matched to other games that season, the jersey found a new home for a price of $567,000.
Many of the items offered were from the collection of Geddy Lee. The Canadian rock legend had a remarkable collection of baseballs signed by US presidents. His Herbert Hoover signed ball, graded 8 by PSA/DNA, netted a stunning $214,200, far above the initial estimate. A one-of-a-kind ball dating to the April 10, 1961 Opening Day first pitch signed by John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson fell to the hammer at $170,100. Another ball with the signature of John F. Kennedy and believed to have been one tossed out as part of first pitch ceremonies on Opening Day in 1963 went for $138,000.
A ball signed by members of the Beatles at their 1965 Shea Stadium concert reached $176,400 while a dark colored sphere signed by Hall of Famer Rube Waddell more than 110 years ago sold for $88,220–the same figure attained by a PSA 6 rated Nap Lajoie autographed ball and a ‘Best Wishes’ inscribed Roberto Clemente ball.
Lee’s PSA 7 Ruth single signed ball netted $50,400.
The collection also included some desirable bats including a rookie year, side written Hank Greenberg model, rated PSA/DNA GU 9, rocketed to $94,500.
Among the other items sold was a program from the first game of the first modern World Series in 1903 ($126,000), a circa 1941 Satchel Paige glove ($126,000), an early 1960s Mickey Mantle bat with possible World Series use ($94,500).
In total, the auction achieved $6,863,976 in total sales.