It’s a New York Yankees collection so impressive that it’s getting its own auction.
A multi-million dollar accumulation of pinstripe paraphernalia collected by one avid fan has opened for bidding through Heritage Auctions, led by the earliest known Babe Ruth game model bat, dating to his 1915 rookie season, five years before his groundbreaking sale from the Red Sox. It’s believed the bat could sell for more than $600,000 when bidding closes December 10.
The auction includes over 400 lots including game-used items, dozens of single and team-signed baseballs and even an original 1992 scouting report filed on Derek Jeter.
“The consignor sees himself as a curator of Yankees history,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions, “so the collection is remarkably comprehensive in scope and breadth, but with a heavy concentration on the most significant Yankee memorabilia available in the hobby.”
The owner has chosen to remain anonymous but has built a museum-worthy collection. In addition to the Ruth bat, there’s the bat with which Lou Gehrig hit the final two home runs of his life during the Yankees’ 1939 spring training schedule. That stick could fetch over $800,000 according to Heritage.
Rookie year bats from both Joe DiMaggio (est. $400,000+) and Mickey Mantle (est. $200,000+) are in the catalog along with a bat signed and possibly used by Roger Maris the day he tied Babe Ruth with his 60th home run of 1961 (est. $50,000+).
Autograph collectors will find a massive trove of Bronx treasures, with high-grade team balls from the mighty Murderer’s Row team of 1927 (est. $150,000+) and just about every other championship vintage. Single-signed offerings run the gamut from the obscure to the immortal, including the only known example from Ernie “Tiny” Bonham (est. $3,000+) and one of the finest quality Babe Ruth signed balls known to exist (est. $150,000+).
While the auction is sharply focused upon the Yankees, the team’s greatest rivals do make some noteworthy appearances. A game used bat from Jackie Robinson’s 1949 National League MVP season (est. $400,000+) recalls the great Subway Series rivalry, and collectors missing an Eddie Plank from their Hall of Fame collection will see a very rare 1915 “Official Federal League” single signed Plank baseball.
Other items in the catalog include:
- 1965 Mickey Mantle Game Used Fielder’s Glove, PSA/DNA Authentic (est. $200,000+)
- 1960 Ted Williams All-Star Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10 (est. $150,000+)
- 1950’s .400 Hitters Multi-Signed Baseball with Cobb, Hornsby, Williams(est. $100,000+)
- 1960’s Jackie Robinson Single Signed Baseball, PSA/DNA Mint 9 (est. $100,000+)
- 1920’s Christy Mathewson “$500,000.00” Single Signed Baseball(est. $80,000+)
- Late 1950’s Napoleon “Larry” Lajoie Single Signed Baseball(est. $60,000+)
- “Shoeless Joe” Jackson Signed Baseball (est. $40,000+)
- 1949-51 Mel Ott Single Signed Baseball(est. $40,000+)
- Grover Cleveland Alexander Single Signed Baseball, circa 1930 (est. $30,000+)
The Yankee Legends auction is now open for bidding and will close in extended bidding format at 10 p.m. Central time, Dec. 10.