Photo Courtesy of SCP AuctionsA circa 1920s New York Yankees baseball jersey worn by Babe Ruth sold for more than $4.4 million at an auction held by California-based sports auctioneer SCP Auctions over the weekend. The earliest known New York Yankees’ team "away" jersey worn by the Bambino sold for $4,415,658.
The jersey breaks the previous record set in 2010 for sports memorabilia, when Dr. James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball document sold for $4,338,500. Babe Ruth wore the Yankee jersey shortly after being sold to New York Yankees by the Boston Red Sox for $100,000 at the end of the 1919 season.
Leland’s Auctions, which is among the most prominent sports collectibles and memorabilia auction houses worldwide, is the new owner of the record-setting item. According to a company spokesperson, the plan for the newly acquired jersey is to sell it privately rather than through an auction. Mike Heffner, president of Leland’s Auctions, said in prepared statement noting the event, “Such a spectacular piece will find a home with one of our private clients who appreciates its historic significance.”
Two other Babe Ruth-related items also sold at SCP Auction’s recently concluded spring auction. A cap worn by Babe Ruth and owned by former MLB pitcher David Wells, sold for $537,278. Additionally, a game-used, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., 1924-28 Babe Ruth bat sod for $591,007. David Wells actually wore that same Babe Ruth cap during an official game played at Yankees Stadium on June 28, 1997. The then-Yankee pitcher was fined by MLB for violating dress code on that day.
The Dmitri Young Collection of high-end baseball cards also was a highlight of the auction. The top cards of the former MLB player’s collection were rookie cards from two Hall of Fame outfielders. A 1954 Hank Aaron and a 1955 Roberto Clememte card sold at $537,954 and $432,690, respectively. Proceeds from Dmitri Young’s collection will go toward the opening of Young’s foundation to help children and student athletes near his home in Ventura County, California. For more information, visit SCPAuctions.com.