Babe Ruth Jersey Sets a Record

Rare piece of memorabilia sells for $5.6M
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2019 10:04 AM CDT
Babe Ruth Jersey Sets a Record
Babe Ruth, of the New York Yankees, at a game in Cleveland in 1929.   (AP Photo, File)

Babe Ruth led the league in home runs in 1930, with 49, per Baseball Reference. That statistic won't change. But the Hall of Famer improved another kind of stat Saturday, when a 1928-30 New York Yankees jersey he wore sold for $5.64 million, CNN reports. Hunt Auctions said that makes the jersey the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold, topping a 1920 Ruth jersey that brought $4.4 million. The jersey was part of a collection up for sale at Yankee Stadium, in cooperation with Ruth's family. "We felt it was time to bring these amazing pieces of his life to light," Linda Ruth Tosetti, Ruth's granddaughter, said in a statement.

The president of Hunt Auctions said he wasn't surprised by the record sale, partly because of "the mythical status the Babe holds in the history of this country." In addition, the item is especially rare. The gray road jersey has "Yankees" printed across the chest; only in those seasons did the nickname appear, Sports Illustrated reports. Ruth never saw that kind of money in his lifetime, of course, though he did lead Major League Baseball in salary in those seasons. He made $70,000 in 1928 and '29, per the Society of Baseball Research, and was bumped up to $80,000 for 1930. (More Babe Ruth stories.)

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