Babe Ruth, King Of The Sports Memorabilia World
Nearly sixty-four years after his death, Babe Ruth set another record on Sunday May 20, 2012 . His circa 1920 Yankees road jersey sold at SCP auctions for a staggering $4.4 million.
Photo © SCP auctions
This eclipses the previous highest amount paid for a piece of sports memorabilia, a Honus Wagner baseball card, which sold in 2008 for $2.8 million.
To put the amount of the sale price in some perspective, Babe Ruth earned approximately $910,000 during his entire major league baseball playing career from 1914 -1935. This of course does not account for inflation. In modern dollars with inflation Ruth would have earned $15.3 million.
Also Ruth made vast amounts of money during the off-season, barnstorming and doing various product endorsements and personal appearances.
How would Ruth have felt about his uniform selling for more than he made his entire career? I’d like to think Ruth would have had a good laugh at that fact.
Babe Ruth, second from left, with his Yankee teammates, early 1920’s
Here is a photograph of Babe Ruth early in his New York Yankee career during spring training, possibly wearing the multi-million dollar uniform.
On a side note
The Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Yankees last night, May 21 at Yankee Stadium by a score of 6-0. What made me notice this otherwise unremarkable game was what the New York Times said today in the sports section:
But the clutch-hitting woes of the Yankees — not just their wheezing All-Star first baseman — remained for another game, a 6-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals in front of 39,229 fans.
Anyone attending or watching the game on television knows the announced attendance of 39,229 was a joke. Looking at the mostly empty stadium, there were probably no more than 8,000 people attending the dreary game, which was played under a constant, steady rain.
The idea that baseball attendance is counted not by clicks of the turnstile, but by tickets sold is ridiculous. It’s another slight problem in a laundry list of things that MLB should address before baseball becomes completely irrelevant.