A unique “NEW YORK” baseball uniform worn by Babe Ruth to promote the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair has sold at auction for $227,854. SCP Auctions sold the uniform at its 2017 Winter Premier auction, which closed Sunday. The entire auction of 1,021 lots of sports memorabilia, game-worn items and autographs brought in $3.4 million.
The Babe Ruth uniform, sold by SCP Auctions earlier this week, had everything going for it. For starters, Ruth wore it to promote the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, an epic event attracting 44 million people and participants from dozens of countries worldwide. The custom-made flannel jersey had Ruth’s name saddle-stitched in red in the rear, sweat-stained collar. The consignor was none other than one of his descendants who had loaned it to the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum in Baltimore from 1972 until 1989. This the was the first time it had ever been sold at auction.
“SCP Auctions is pleased to announce that it has secured four incredibly rare, never-before-offered-at-auction items directly from the family of Babe Ruth,” read the California-based company’s press release. Babe Ruth’s heirs are showing the same dramatic flair for hitting home runs as the Bambino himself.
In addition to his slugging prowess, Babe Ruth was the consummate showman. Ruth liked being the center of attention, and even after his retirement in 1935, the Bambino remained popular. That popularity is a central theme behind one of four items from the Ruth family that SCP Auctions will be putting up for sale in its 2017 Winter Premier, which runs from Jan. 4-21. All four tell a great deal about Ruth, but it is the custom-made flannel uniform Ruth wore in 1938 to promote the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair that will draw the most interest because the slugger wore it.