$1.5 million Babe Ruth baseball glove smashes record
The highest bid is a record paid for such a piece of sports memorabilia
A baseball mitt once worn by the figure widely regarded as the sports’s greatest player of all time, Babe Ruth, has sold for a record $1.53 million at the 19th annual Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory auction.
The figure shattered the previous record paid for a baseball glove, which was believed to be $387,500 for a Lou Gehrig glove Sotheby’s sold in 1999.
In 2013, Steiner Sports sold Jackie Robinson’s glove thought to have been worn in the 1955 and 1956 World Series for just over $373,000.
Ruth, best known for his tenure with the New York Yankees from 1920-1934, donated the glove in question to former St. Louis Browns third baseman Jimmy Austin.
The item was manufactured by Spalding and believed to have been used by Ruth from 1927 to 1933.
Hunt Auctions, which oversaw its sale on Saturday, said the glove was originally believed to be a vintage Babe Ruth store model. After a provenance and authentication process, however, which included a possible photo match with an image of Ruth wearing the same model with identical tobacco staining, perception of it changed.
“This monumental glove is truly [one] of the most historic pieces of its medium to have ever been offered at public auction,” Hunt Auctions president David Hunt claimed.
A 1964 audio recording captured Austin discussing the glove and pounding its leather. “My childhood memories with my ‘Uncle Jim’ are extremely dear to me,” said Austin’s niece Susan Kolokoff in a Hunt Auctions statement.
“The glove had rested in a box for the last 30 years until we learned of its history and heard the amazing audio recording,” she added.