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Sultan of Sales: Ruth items fetch $4.5M

BOHEMIA, New York — Babe Ruth’s 1927 World Series ring sold for about $2.1 million and his contract that moved him from the Red to the Yankees for more than $2.3 million in a Leland’s auction that ended July 1. The items were consigned by bad boy “Wild Thing” actor Charlie Sheen.

Given that this document gave birth to the “Curse of the Bambino,” what with the Yankees fRUTHRINGlourishing with the greatest in the game and the Red Sox, well, did not for generations. Leland’s called this contract “the most important document in sports history.” The ring actually sold for $2,093,927; the contract for $2,303,320.

Ruth’s 1927 Babe Comes Home movie poster sold for $12,426. Ruth pal Lou Gehrig also won with collectors. His 1939 Baseball Hall of Fame bronze plaque, accompanied by a letter from the family, sold for $13,668; and a photo of him with his Hartford Senators team in 1923-’24 fetched $33,359. More significantly, the bat Gehrig had with him on Lou Gehrig Day (“Luckiest Man” speech) sold for $393,300. Gehrig gave the bat to a Yankees batboy.

Sandy Koufax’s 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers rookie jersey sold for $667,189.

A 1950-’51 Joe DiMaggio game-worn Yankees pinstripe jersey fetched $376,610.

Horse racing treasures generated attention led by a 1972 horse shoe worn by Secretariat from his maiden race, a win. The mounted shoe on a plaque sold for $36,695.

Historic Olympic medals won by golfer Chandler Egan, gold and silver from 1904, sold for $120,000 and $42,517, respectively.

Among other items in that sold were:

  • Willie Mays’ 1957 New York Giants game-worn jersey from his last game at the Polo Grounds for $212,216;
  • Warren Spahn’s 1962 Milwaukee Graves game-worn jersey for $88,810;
  • A Ty Cobb side-written game-used bat from 1925 for $366,961;
  • Tris Speaker’s game-used factory side-written bat from 1923 for $82.711;
  • Rogers Hornsby game-used bat from the early 1920s for $40,364;
  • Pete Rose’s 1971 game-worn jersey from 1971, possibly worn in the ‘70 Series, sold for $25,063;
  • Bob Gibson’s game-worn uniform from 1969 for $82,711;
  • A St. Louis Cardinals World Series championship ring from 1931 for $38,599;
  • Ken Norton’s fight-worn gloves from the 1976 fight in Yankee Stadium against Muhammad Ali (Norton-Ali III) for $38,011. The gloves were signed by both fighters;
  • Evander Holyfield’s shocking purple robe he wore in 1996 in his first fight with Mike Tyson sold for $16,685; and
  • Sidney Crosby’s game-worn Pittsburgh Penguins jersey sold for $14,656

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