A Walter Johnson Washington Senators jersey, which was only one of two known and the only example in private hands, sold for $352,000 to an East Coast collector in the June 24 Sotheby’s with SCP Live Auction in New York City. It was actively pursued by at least four bidders.
Also highlighting the sale was a Babe Ruth game-used and signed bat, which brought $216,000. This exceptional example dates from Ruth’s epic 1932 “Called Shot” season and was described by Sotheby’s officials as “among the finest of only a scant few know Ruth’s gamers autographed by the Bambino himself.” A pair of Ruth New York Yankees home flannel pants, late 1920s, commanded $114,000, almost four times the high estimate of $20,000-$30,000.
Other bats that brought top prices included: Jackie Robinson’s game-used 1949 All-Star bat from the Robinson estate, which sold for $132,000, a record for a Robinson bat at auction; a 1927 Lou Gehrig Louisville Slugger, which hit $96,000; and a 1966 Mickey Mantle H&B game-used bat, which brought $60,000.
Additional Highlights: Hall of Famer Bob Cousy game-worn Celitcs home jersey, circa 1950s – $27,000; 1957-58 Wilt Chamberlain Kansas Jayhawks home jersey from his final collegiate season (from the Chamberlain estate) – $72,000; Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes game-worn San Diego Rockets home jersey circa 1970 – $20,400; Michael Jordan game-worn and twice-autographed All-Star Game jersey – $13,200; a pair of 1920s New York Yankees checks payable to the Boston Red Sox directly relating to the sale of Babe Ruth – $33,000; Jackie Robinson single-signed ball – $12,600; large 17-by-21 Ruth-signed photograph – $31,200; 19th-century fingerless baseball glove with matching full-finger glove – $19,200; tabletop one-cent Mutascope featuring Ruth – $21,600; Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed ball PSA/DNA Grade 8 – $39,000; original Yankee Stadium seat – $7,800; 1940s Ruth figural clock – $7,800; pool cue given to Mickey Mantle by Willie Mosconi – $12,000.
Card Highlights: John O’Donogue 1968 Topps 3-D Baseball proof – $27,000; Tommy Davis 1968 3-D Baseball proof – $33,000; Rick Monday 1968 Topps 3-D Baseball proof – $36,000; 1916 M101-5 Blank Back Babe Ruth SGC 40 – $15,600; 1917 H801-8 Boston Store lot of 72 with nine Hall of Famers – $36,000; 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 5 – $18,000; 1952 Topps Baseball near-complete run of high numbers (90 of 97) – $12,000; and a 1955 Topps Baseball complete set – $9,900.
For more information about the sale or upcoming auctions, go to www.sothebys.com or www.scpauctions.com, or call (212) 606-7414.