Major League Baseball MLB is a professional baseball organization that is the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. MLB is governed by the Major League Baseball Constitution. MLB is composed of thirty teams twenty nine in the United States and one in Canada. Items that have been in direct contact with a famous athlete can have significant monetary value.
Game used items such as the ball in which Mark McGwire hit his 70th home run of the 1998 season sold for $3 million. The most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction was a New York Yankees baseball jersey that was worn by Babe Ruth during the 1920 season. And if that sounds like a lot well you are in for some sticker shock.
Not only did that not break the record for most expensive baseball glove ever sold but it is pittance compared to other items on this list. It was during this time period when baseball gave way to another favorite hobby collecting sport memorabilia. These players were not just sports stars they were all out celebrities. Everyone wanted something to remember them by. Here are some most expensive pieces of major league baseball memorabilia ever sold/ auctioned.
- Babe Ruth’s Earliest Yankees Jersey $4,415,658:
The jersey is estimated to be from the 1920 season and is completely un restored. It probably was not hard to guess that the most expensive item on the list would have been some sort of Babe Ruth memorabilia. In 2013 LeLand’s auction House sold the earliest known babe Ruth Yankees’ jersey for $4,415,658. It broke the record which was previously held by the document James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball which sold for $4,338,500 in 2010. This is the most money ever paid for any sports memorabilia.
2. Babe Ruth’s Jersey $4.4 million:
The Bambino’s 1920 jersey is the oldest known by the Yankees slugger. It sold for an eye popping $4.4 million the most ever for an item of sports memorabilia according to the buyer and the seller. The winning bid for the jersey which had been displayed for years at the Babe Ruth birthplace museum in Baltimore. Ruth retired in 1935 with 714 home runs the major league record for nearly 40 years. Hank Aaron broke that mark and then was passed by Barry Bonds who finished with 762.
3. Mark McGwires 70th Home Run Ball $3 million:
Baseball is the only sport where the record can leave the field of play and an average fan can take home piece of history from the stadium. You cannot do that in hockey basketball or football. That is why the back to the fans across North America and the world to recapture the excitement of the record to be an able to let everyone look at the ball.
4. Honus Wagner’s Baseball Card $2,800,000:
The Honus Wagner a dead ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. The card odd texture and shape led to speculation that it was altered. The 1909 card depicting the famous Pittsburgh baseball player Honus Wagner was sold to an anonymous private collector. The Honus Wagner player whose image is on this highly valued piece of baseball history.
5. Babe Ruth’s First Bat as a Yankee $1,265,000:
Babe Ruth was an American professional baseball player whose career in major league baseball spanned 22 seasons from 1914 through 1935. December 2 in an overflowing salesroom Sotheby’s and Sports cards plus sold Babe Ruth’s signed bat used to slam the first home run in Yankee Stadium for $1,265,000 a record for a baseball bat at auction. Applause erupted in the room when a representative of the Chicago based Mastro Net, Inc a sports and collectibles auction house, purchased the bat on behalf of an anonymous East Coast collector.
6. Babe Ruth’s Yankees Contract $996,000:
He is often referred to as the greatest baseball player who ever lived and widely considered to be one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture. The cursed 1919 contract that shipped Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees sold on Friday for a staggering US$996,000 auction house Sotheby’s said. Many of Ruth’s numerous records for both pitching and hitting lasted for decades.
7. Babe Ruth’s Called Shot Jersey $940,000:
Babe Ruth is clearly the winner of the athlete with the overall most expensive sports memorabilia as he has three of the top ten entries. Officials with sports auction house Grey Flannel believe they have the jersey the New Yankees Slugger wore at Wrigley field during the 1932 World Series. This is significant because jerseys were hand sewn and the positioning of the lettering on Yankees jerseys varied each year.
8. Babe Ruth All Star Game Home Run Ball $805,000:
It was one of those magic moments in baseball when time stands still and a sense of greatness filled the crowd. History was happening on the field and they knew it. The ball sat in a cardboard box in a closet for the past decade. On Tuesday it fetched $805,000 to highlight the daylong memorabilia auction held at the Major League Baseball fan fest at the David L. Lawrence convention center downtown.
9. Babe Ruth’s World Tour Jersey $771,000:
The game worn jersey used by Ruth during the Yankees’ 1934 Barnstorming exhibition tour of Japan is one of the few to remain from the famous tour. It was sold by Mastro Auctions in August 2005 for a price of $771,000. Thanks to his power display Babe Ruth become so popular in Japan that during world war2 the state department considered having him record messages to convince the Japanese people to quit the war.
10. Don Larsen’s World Series Jersey $756,000:
Last night Don Larsen auctioned off the Yankees jersey he wore while throwing a perfect game against the Dodgers in game 5 of the 1956 World Series selling it for $756,000. Both Larsen and Knight said they were selling their prized possessions in an auction conducted by New York based Steiner sports to raise money for their grandchildren is tuition costs. With Larson item selling for much less than Ruth jersey it seems that names and not achievements really drive the collecting world.