Laguna Niguel, Calif. (May 20, 2012) – The earliest known jersey worn by New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth sold for $4,415,658, Ruth's 1930s Yankees game-worn cap owned by former Yankees' pitcher David Wells went for $537,278 and Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor's NY Giants Super Bowl XXV ring attracted a bid of $230,401 each setting world records in SCP Auctions' April auction which concluded early Sunday.
The circa 1920 Ruth jersey broke multiple sports memorabilia records, including the new record for an sports memorabilia item, surpassing previous record of $4,338,500 set in 2010 by James Naismith's founding rules of basketball; most expensive baseball memorabilia ever sold; most expensive Ruth item ever sold; and most expensive game-worn jersey in the history of sports collectibles. In addition, Wells' Ruth's 1930s Yankees game-worn cap set a new world record for a baseball cap and Taylor's NY Giants Super Bowl XXV ring a world record for a Super Bowl ring.
"We are honored to, once again, be a part of history," said David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions. "This proves again that Babe Ruth is "king" in the sports memorabilia world. We are proud to offer these and other high-quality items for all collectors."
The auction also included Major League Baseball All-Star Dmitri Young's high-end baseball card collection. Top prices from the collection included the only 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps rookie card ever graded PSA 10 Gem Mint ($432,690 – an auction world record for a post-war baseball card); a 1954 Hank Aaron Topps Rookie card PSA 10 Gem Mint ($537,954) and the only 1963 Pete Rose Topps rookie card ever graded PSA 10 Gem Mint ($157,365). The auction proceeds will allow Young to begin the Dmitri D. Young Foundation that will host baseball and softball camps and clinics, support Boys and Girls Clubs and sponsor programs and scholarships for student athletes and their families in Young's home area, Ventura County, Calif.
The Ruth jersey had been exhibited for years at The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Md. According to baseball-reference.com, the bid for this jersey is more than Ruth's 22-year career earnings of $911,000.
Few Babe Ruth collectibles in the category of "game worn" can match the appeal of Wells' 1930s Ruth cap. Only a handful of Ruth New York Yankees game-worn caps have survived the three-quarters of a century that has passed since the Babe last played in the Bronx, ranking them on the rarity scale above all team-issued garments, including jerseys. The cap's seller, the irreverent Wells, added to the lore of the cap when he famously wore it on the mound during a game on June 28, 1997 in homage to his idol, Ruth.
Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor's New York Giants Super Bowl XXV ring was gifted by Lawrence Taylor to his son, Lawrence (TJ) Taylor, Jr., who then elected to sell the ring. The ring is accompanied by two letters, one signed by Lawrence Taylor acknowledging he gave the ring as a gift to his son Lawrence Taylor, Jr. and a second signed by Lawrence Taylor, Jr. stating that the ring is in fact the authentic 1991 New York Giants Super Bowl XXV ring he received from his father.
Other highlights of the auction include:
- 1924-28 Babe Ruth H&B professional model game-used bat - $591,007
- 1968 Mickey Mantle autographed NY Yankees game-worn road jersey - $366,967
- C. 1931 Lou Gehrig NY Yankees game-worn home jersey - $275,706
- Bobby Thomson's 1951 "Shot Heard 'Round the World" cap - $173,102
- Jackie Robinson 1950 All-Star Game professional model bat - $133,234
Full auction results are available at www.scpauctions.com.
About SCP Auctions
SCP Auctions, Inc. has been a leader in brokering and auctions of important sports memorabilia and cards since 1979. The Southern California based firm conducts online auctions throughout the year, highlighted by their Premier Auctions in the spring and fall. SCP Auctions has handled some of the most significant individual items and prominent collections in their field, such as the record-setting sale of the famed T206 Honus Wagner baseball card ($2.8 million) and Babe Ruth's bat used to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium ($1.265 million). Other items of significance handled by SCP are the original 1919 Contract of Sale of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees ($996,000), and the estate collections of Hall of Famers such as Honus Wagner, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Cousy, Wilt Chamberlain, Casey Stengel, Pee Wee Reese, and Ernie Banks. Interested bidders can call (800) 350-2273 or visit SCP Auctions online at www.SCPAuctions.com for more information on how to participate.