Babe Ruth jersey sets sports memorabilia record with $5.64 million sale at auction

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor

A game-worn Babe Ruth jersey smashed the sports memorabilia sales record on Saturday when an anonymous buyer bid $5.64 million at an auction.

The flannel road New York Yankees jersey was worn between 1928 and 1930 and sold for more than million dollars above the expected price of $4.5 million. A different Ruth jersey previously held the record for most expensive sports memorabilia when it was sold for $4.4 million in 2011, although this jersey is considered to be in better condition.

Hunts Auctions, which ran the event at Yankee Stadium, auctioned off several other items from the Ruth’s private family collection and released a statement afterward:

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“The legacy and significance of Babe Ruth to the game of baseball and American popular culture is unmatched by any other figure in the history of this country," president of Hunt Auctions David Hunt said. "We were completely humbled for this opportunity afforded to our company by the Ruth family to present this previously unknown archive of materials to Babe's adoring fans. While the record-setting prices attained today are certainly astonishing I am not surprised at all given the incredible materials and the mythical status the Babe holds in the history of this country.”

A game-worn Babe Ruth jersey sold on Saturday for more than a million dollars above the expected value. (Photo by Louis Van Oeyen/Western Reserve Historical Society/Getty Images).
A game-worn Babe Ruth jersey sold on Saturday for more than a million dollars above the expected value. (Photo by Louis Van Oeyen/Western Reserve Historical Society/Getty Images).

Even beyond the jersey and other items at the auction, plenty of Babe Ruth memorabilia has been in the news lately.

In April, a report came out that a California man bought a Ruth baseball card for $2 that ended up being an authentic 1921 card worth nine figures. Experts thought the bidding at an auction would start at $1.5 million and reach $4.5 million or higher. The most expensive baseball card sold to date was a Honus Wagner card from 1909-11 that sold for $3.12 million.

Meanwhile, a Baltimore Orioles team photo from 1914 that featured Ruth was sold earlier this month for $190,373. That shattered the previous record for a sports photo of $77,098 for the original version of a famous picture of Ty Cobb sliding.

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