Babe Ruth’s life and career on the diamond has resulted in some interesting pieces of memorabilia. And while jerseys, autographs and bats may be the cornerstones that come to mind, there are some things that fall outside that realm and offer a more personal look at the icon. Babe Ruth’s Last Will and Testament from 1933 is one such item. It’s part of SCP Auctions‘ 2017 Spring Premier Auction, which starts May 24.
He was still a solid player and in the prime of life by today’s standards but after the 1933 baseball season, Babe Ruth decided to get his business affairs in order. At age 38, with a wife and family, he decided to draw up his last will and testament. The document, signed with his full given name 1933 Babe Ruth will testament and dated the day after Christmas, is coming to auction next month. It’s expected to bring a six-figure price.
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.
SCP Auctions’ 2017 Winter Premier online auction closed early Sunday morning and the top selling lot was a 1938 “NEW YORK” uniform worn by the late, great Babe Ruth to promote the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair that sold for $227,854. The entire auction of 1,021 lots of coveted sports memorabilia, game-worn items and sought-after autographs brought in $3.4 million. Other top selling lots included Tony Gwynn’s 3,000th Hit baseball, $142,762; a rare 1969 Super Bowl III yellow variation full, unused ticket, which scored a winning bid of $59,098 to set a new industry record for a single sports ticket sold at auction; and a pair of World Series Championship rings (2012 and ’14) that were awarded to San Francisco Giants legend Orlando Cepeda, which both sold for $59,098 apiece. The much-publicized sale of Jim Bouton’s Ball Four manuscript archive from his 1970 best seller did not meet its reserve price.
“It’s no surprise that once again, Babe Ruth carried the day in an auction featuring a broad array of historic sports memorabilia,” said Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions. “The ‘Sultan of Swat’ still resonates with collectors more than any other name in sports history, more than 70 years after his passing.”
The one-of-a-kind, custom-made “NEW YORK” flannel uniform was manufactured by A.G. Spalding & Bros. and Ruth wore it in 1938 at several stops to help promote the upcoming 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. Gwynn’s 3,000th hit baseball marked the late Hall of Famer’s milestone hit which occurred on August 6, 1999, versus the Montreal Expos. The 1969 Super Bowl III yellow variation ticket surprised many industry insiders as it set a new auction benchmark for the sale of a single sports ticket. The heavily coveted modern 14K white gold World Series championship rings represent the Giants’ second and third baseball titles in the City by the Bay and were issued to Cepeda, a Hall of Famer and one of the franchise’s greatest players.
Other highlights from the auction included: 1909-11 T206 White Border Near Complete Set of 520 Baseball Cards, $51,356; Vince Lombardi’s 1956 New York Giants World Champions 10K Gold Ring, $50,131; early 1980’s Magic Johnson L.A. Lakers Game Worn Road Jersey (MEARS A10), $47,188; Orlando Cepeda’s 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series Champs 14K Gold Ring: $44,401; and Tony Gwynn’s 2007 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction 10K Gold Ring: $37,663.
The buyers of the items wish to remain anonymous at this time. All prices include a buyer’s premium. Full auction results are available at SCP Auctions. -Terry Melia
It’s not your traditional baseball memorabilia, but in the realm of baseball and baseball literature, it’s a treasure trove. Jim Bouton’s the vast original manuscript archive for his best-selling book Ball Four, is up for auction. The current high bid for Bouton’s notes, tapes and other items that led to the publication of the ground-breaking story is over $73,000.