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Someone bought Babe Ruth’s jersey for $4.4 million

May 21, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

babe ruth jersey AP

Babe Ruth’s old jersey was auctioned off yesterday and sold for a staggering $4.4 million.

Craig Calcaterra wrote about the planned auction back in February, at which point various experts were predicting that the jersey would surpass the $2.8 million price for the famous Honus Wagner baseball card.

According to SCP Auctions the final price for the Ruth jersey was $4,415,658, which makes it the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever. It narrowly surpasses James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball, which sold for $4,338,500 in 2010.

Ruth wore the jersey while playing for the Yankees in 1920, the year after Boston sold him to New York. It had previously been displayed at the The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, but the Associated Press reports that Lelands.com is the new owner and plans to sell the jersey privately.

  1. number42is1 - May 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    For those of you who have no idea who this “babe ruth” chick is

  2. phillyphan83 - May 21, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    first, hilarious San lot reference, one of the best sports movies of all-time! second, why was this EVER taken out of the Babe Ruth museum???

  3. Old Gator - May 21, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Four point four for the Babe’s jersey, and only a million and change for the Mongolian Tyrannosaur skeleton. I guess the Babe had a better era than the Tyrannosaurus did.

  4. harrysatchel - May 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Did there appear to be any mustard stains on the uniform…perhaps driving up the price?

  5. The Dangerous Mabry - May 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    So…they were the highest bidder at auction, and plan to sell it? Who exactly do they plan to sell it to? Wouldn’t anyone who would be interested have outbid them at the auction?

    Sports memorabilia confuses me.

    • florida727 - May 21, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      I actually wrote a book about sports memorabilia a long time ago. Even back then, an FBI agent that I interviewed for the piece told me that it was a $1+ billion per year industry just in the USA. The biggest problem with pieces is, of course, authentication. Some auction places put an emphasis on chain-of-custody, while others actually use forensics to validate pieces, especially where autographs are concerned. It’s, unfortunately, an industry riddled with scam artists. The only way to be reasonably sure of a piece’s authenticity is if you get a piece directly from the person obtaining the signatures or item from its source.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 21, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      All very good questions Mabry.

  6. hojo20 - May 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    A guy from the Ruth jersey’s auction house was just on Mike Francesa’s show in NYC and he couldn’t straight give answers on how it was authenticated. He told Mike “you’re too late” and hung up on him. It’s hard to say this is an authentic Ruth-worn jersey when no one alive knows what happened to it before the memorabilia craze. How could anyone now know truly know where the jersey was from 1930-1950?

  7. daviddmsvcp - May 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Someone has way too much money.

  8. deadeyedesign23 - May 21, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Can we talk about how dope the baby blue on the lettering looks?

  9. jfk69 - May 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I am selling the Babes underwear. It has light brown stains on the rear and yellow patches in the front. It has been hermetically sealed in a glass jar that has sat on my front porch for many years and is verifiable by funk and wagnalls.
    ALL BIDS WILL BE CONSIDERED

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