Earliest known Babe Ruth game-used New York Yankees jersey hits auction block in April
By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
A circa 1920 New York Yankees road jersey worn by Babe Ruth might fetch seven figures when it hits the auction block through SCP Auctions on April 30.
“This is simply the finest sports artifact we’ve handled in our 30-year history,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler. “It has it all. You would be hard pressed to dream up a more desirable baseball artifact. The historical impact of Ruth’s emergence in the Big Apple in the early 1920s, combined with the jersey’s superb original condition, makes this a sports treasure of the highest order.”
It’s the earliest known gamer for The Bambino, and the bidding through the Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based company will close on May 19.
Ruth, of course, was one of the world’s most-recognizable athletes in his time and remains so today. His 714 home runs were an MLB record well beyond his playing days until Hank Aaron topped the mark in 1974.
The Spalding flannel has Ruth’s name stitched into the collar, and the placement of the New York patches on the front have been photo-matched to images included with the auction’s preview information. More details will come when the auction opens.
“It has a definite aura about it,” said SCP Auctions Managing Director Dan Imler. “It is hard to put a value on an item of such singular importance. Ruth was a man of mythic proportions. More than any other man, he transcended sports, achieving a nearly unrivaled status as an American icon. In the process, he changed the game of baseball forever. To think this jersey was worn by him during the most pivotal years of his career, and arguably the most consequential years in baseball history, makes this one of the finest sports artifacts we’ll see in our lifetime.”
In 2005 Donruss/Playoff purchased a Ruth home gamer from around 1925 (one of three known pinstriped Ruth jerseys), which it cut up and placed into baseball cards. That jersey cost the company only $250,000.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.