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Most Expensive Sports Memorabilia Ever

Collectors will have the chance to catch one of the most important pieces of baseball memorabilia in history this summer.

Babe Ruth's “Called Shot” jersey
Babe Ruth's “Called Shot” jersey | Heritage Auctions

A gray New York Yankees jersey Babe Ruth wore during Game 3 of the 1932 World Series will go under the gavel at Heritage Auctions in late August. The auction house estimates the garment will sell for at least rarity $30 million - more than double the price achieved by the current world record holder.

“Ruth’s World Series jersey is the most significant piece of American sports memorabilia to be offered at auction in decades,” Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage, said in a statement. “Given its history, its mythology, we expect that when the final bid is placed, it will hold the record as the most expensive sports collectible ever to cross the auction block.”

The “Called Shot” jersey, which bears Ruth’s No. 3, was a part of one of baseball’s most famous (and often debated) moments. The Sultan of Swat was sporting it as he stepped up to the plate in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series to face Chicago Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. With the score tied between the Cubs and Yankees, the slugger failed to hit the ball not once but twice. In between strikes, Ruth pointed to the center-field bleachers. Whether he was calling out his shot, pointing at the pitcher, or just gesturing to the stands is still debated. With the next pitch, Ruth sent the ball over 440 feet to the section he had indicated. The Yankees went on to win that game seven to five and knocked the Cubs out of the Series the following day.

According to Heritage, Ruth later gifted the jersey he wore on that fateful day to a Florida man following a round of golf. It remained with the man until his daughter sold it for $940,000 through Grey Flannel Auctions in 2005. Should the jersey hammer down for as much as expected in August, it will become the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold at auction. That record currently belongs to a Mickey Mantle baseball card that sold for $12.6 million at Heritage in August 2022.


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