Babe Ruth's home run record bat sells for $717,000
A baseball bat used by Babe Ruth to set a new home run world record has sold in New York for $717,000.
Ruth used the Hillerich & Bradsby bat throughout the 1921 season, during which he hit a record 59 home runs for the New York Yankees – beating his own record of 54 set the previous season.
The bat was the only example of its kind in private hands to be accompanied by a letter of provenance signed by the Bambino himself. It was addressed to Fred Weber, whose brother Harry served as Ruth's manager during his theatrical career. Ruth performed in numerous vaudeville theatres at the height of his fame, and lent his treasured home run bats and balls to the Webers to be displayed in theatre lobbies.
The letter read:
"To my Friend 'Fred P. Weber, Phoenix, Arizona
It gives me great pleasure to present you with this-my trustworthy bat with which I batted out my 57th and 58th [corrected to 59th] home-runs at the Polo Grounds-New York City on September 26, 1921 and broke my own world's home run record.
Yours in Baseball,
Fittingly, Ruth hit his 59th and final home run of the season at the Polo Grounds, the Yankees' home ground which they also shared with the New York Giants. The record would stand for a further six years, before Ruth once again surpassed by hitting 60 homers during the 1927 season.
The record price for a Babe Ruth baseball bat stands at $1.3 million, set by the bat which he used to hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium in 1923.
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