About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Photo Match Propels Babe Ruth Baseball Bat to All-time Sale Price Record

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Thanks to a clutch photo match confirming its place in Bambino history, the bat smashed the previous record price by more than $150,000.

A baseball bat used by the legendary Babe Ruth during the 1920 and 1921 New York Yankees seasons sold for $1.85 million in a private treaty transaction this week, setting a record for the sale of a Ruth artifact and breaking the previous record of $1.68 million.

Per MLB.com, the Great Bambino used the bat Ruth when the Yankees played at the Polo Grounds in New York City and was originally a gift from a supervisor to his employee back in the 1920s before permanently sitting in a private bat collection for several decades. Weighing 44.6 ounces, the bat has been successfully photo-matched to contemporaneous pictures of Ruth swinging during live at-bats through a review of its grain patterns and the branded Louisville Slugger trademark stamp.

That bit of baseball memorabilia detective work certainly paid off — literally.

“This baseball bat is as close to a work of art as the medium can allow,” Dave Hunt, President of Hunt Auctions, said via MLB.com. “When holding the 44.6-ounce weapon that Babe once used to pummel baseballs into the bleachers at New York’s Polo Grounds, it becomes immediately obvious as to the importance of this amazing baseball artifact. Equally impressive to the record price established is the enduring legacy that Ruth left for seemingly endless generations of fans who continue to revere his legend — both on and off of the baseball field.”

Hunt Auctions previously negotiated the sale of a Ruth jersey for $5.64 million, which still holds the No. 1 spot on the all-time list of priciest baseball memorabilia items as of this writing. Last November, the Pennsylvania-based company additionally auctioned off a baseball glove worn by the Sultan of Swat for a record $1.53 million.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

As Hunt continued:

“One thing that’s been documented is that over the years Ruth played, he was very benevolent in giving out different items: Bats, gloves, things of that sort, many of which were inscribed to certain people along the way — dignitaries, different players — which gives us a baseline to understand why some of these pieces would be out there in the first place. This particular bat, literally in the early-to-mid ’90s, came right from the original recipient who had it all that time since he received it back in [the 1920s].”

One of the most well-known, revered names in sporting history, Ruth’s 714 career home runs stood as Major League Baseball’s all-time record for nearly four full decades, accompanied by his eye-popping .342 career batting average and 2,214 RBI over 22 seasons in the Show. At the end of his career, Ruth was a two-time All-Star, the AL MVP in 1923, and won seven World Series championships.

More From the Collectibles Hobby:

About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.