Babe Ruth’s ‘Called Shot’ Jersey on Auction

Babe Ruth’s baseball legacy is set to take center stage this summer as his iconic “called shot” jersey is up for auction at Heritage Auctions. This gray road flannel, with an estimated value of $30 million, could potentially break records as the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold.

The origins of this historic jersey date back to the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field, where Ruth famously pointed to the outfield before hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs. The authenticity of Ruth wearing this jersey during that legendary game has been substantiated by photo matching from two separate companies, adding to its mystique and potential worth.

Initially auctioned in 2005 for $944,000 by Grey Flannel Auctions, the jersey was first consigned by the daughter of one of Ruth’s golfing companions. Following conservation work by the Textile Conservation Workshop to mend a tear while preserving its original state, the jersey impeccably mirrors the style worn by the Yankees in 1932, further solidifying its historical significance.

Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage, emphasized the unparalleled importance of Ruth’s World Series jersey in sports memorabilia. He stated, “Ruth’s World Series jersey is the most significant piece of American sports memorabilia to be offered at auction in decades and will set a new record as the most expensive sports collectible ever sold.”

The current record for the priciest sports collectible is held by a Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card, sold for $12.6 million in 2022, also at Heritage Auctions. The top amount ever paid for a Ruth jersey stands at $5.6 million for a circa 1928-1930 model, auctioned by Hunt Auctions at Yankee Stadium in 2019.

Experts have meticulously studied the provenance and unique features of Ruth’s “called shot” jersey, including button placement and specific stains, to authenticate its historical significance. Authenticators such as MeiGray scrutinize each game-worn jersey as uniquely distinctive, akin to a fingerprint, providing concrete evidence to attest to the jersey’s fame.

The enduring legacy of Ruth’s famous home run continues to captivate baseball enthusiasts, with the jersey playing a starring role in this cherished memory. Despite differing accounts of the event, Ruth’s boldness and stellar performance on that day only added to his larger-than-life persona. The jersey will be on display at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland this summer before the auction from August 23-25.

This auction not only commemorates a pivotal moment in sports history but also highlights the burgeoning market for high-value sports memorabilia, drawing in collectors and fans eager to own a slice of baseball folklore.


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