Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat
Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat is a highly valuable piece of sports memorabilia. It was sold in December 2004 for $1,260,000. Babe Ruth
George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. (1895-1948) was an American baseball player, active 1914 to 1935.
He is “often referred to as the greatest baseball player who ever lived” and widely considered to be “one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture.”
Starting at the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher, Ruth was famously sold to the New York Yankees in 1919 for $125,000.
His prolific record (in 22 seasons, he hit a record 714 home runs) made him an “extremely popular baseball player”.
Many of Ruth’s numerous records for both pitching and hitting lasted for decades.
The Louisville Slugger bat was created in 1884 and produced by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company.
By 1923, the slugger was “was selling more bats than any other bat maker in the country” and was used by many leading baseball names.
Made from solid ash wood, the bat is 36 inches long and weighs 45.5 oz. It was used to hit the first home run at the Yankee Stadium on 18th April 1923.
The barrel still bears Ruth's inscription: "To the Boy Home Run King of Los Angeles, 'Babe' Ruth, N.Y. May 7, 1923."
The famous bat “remains the greatest prize on the Babe Ruth collectibles market”.
The bat in fact had little use. Ruth “donated it to the Los Angeles Evening Herald as the top prize in a high school home run hitting contest.”
Later, Victor Orsatti received the bat which “he kept it until his death 61 years later.” It was later “willed to Orsatti's caretaker, who stored it under her bed until putting it up for auction.”
On 2nd December 2004, the bat was sold for $1,265,000, at Sotheby’s, New York. This beat the $1,000,000 estimate.
It was purchased by Doug Allen, president of the Chicago-based auction house MastroNet Inc., on behalf of an East Coast collector who preferred to remain anonymous.
It became “only the third piece of sports memorabilia to break the $1 million mark at auction”.
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