A road jersey worn by Babe Ruth between 1928-1930 for the New York Yankees has just broken the record for the single most expensive sports memorabilia item ever sold at auction. Babe Ruth‘s granddaughter said “I just want people to enjoy and appreciate my grandfather’s stuff” which is an interesting reaction to someone spending MILLIONS AND MILLIONS on an old jersey.
News of this potential record-breaking jersey began to circulate a few months ago. Back when the auction of Babe Ruth pieces released by the Ruth family which included the jersey was first announced, people speculated that the game-worn Babe Ruth jersey could sell for a $4 million.
They were almost right about that, they just needed to aim higher.
The 1928-1930 Babe Ruth jersey sold for a record $5.64 MILLION over the weekend making it the most expensive sports memorabilia item ever sold. This jersey….This piece of cloth right here…It sold for more than five and a half million dollars.
The Yankees road jersey comes from the years after Babe Ruth negotiated his then-record $80,000 salary for two years A portion of the proceeds from this auction will go towards charity, according to reports.
It was barely two months ago when these tweets went out with insiders speculating this jersey could sell for $4 million. I can’t believe they’d be over $1.5 million off the mark on this. And I can’t wrap my mind around anyone spending $5.64 million on a jersey that will sit in a frame somewhere. Will it even be displayed to the public or is this going up in a man cave?
When asked about why the family would release these pieces from the Ruth collection after all these years, here’s what Linda Ruth Tosetti (granddaughter) had to say:
“The decision to share items from his personal collection was made with careful consideration and the intent to further his legacy within a new generation of baseball fans. Babe’s collection has remained largely unknown to the general public, and we felt it was time to bring these amazing pieces of his life to light. There could be no other place to showcase these items than Yankee Stadium, and we are also thrilled to be able to benefit related charitable entities through the sale of these items.” (via)
The previous record for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold was a 1920 Babe Ruth Jersey which sold for $4,415,658 so not only did this jersey break the record but it completely demolished it and pushed the bar $1.2 million higher.
I’m having trouble imagining a future where Millennials or Gen Z will give one flying shit about spending millions of dollars on Babe Ruth jerseys. Is the future of sports memorabilia dead or will there always be a market of people wanting to spend ungodly sums of money on items worn by athletes? I think it’s the former but I’m willing to hear some arguments for the latter.
For more on this, you can visit CBS News.