Babe Ruth’s 1927 World Se­ries ring is up for auc­tion

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JOE REEDY

Two items that can be con­sid­ered the Holy Grail of Babe Ruth mem­o­ra­bilia are up for auc­tion.

Ruth’s 1927 World Se­ries ring and the 1919 con­tract of Ruth’s sale from the Red Sox to the Yan­kees are part of the first Le­lands.com In­vi­ta­tional Auc­tion.

The auc­tion, which takes place through June 30, fea­tures many unique and high-value sports mem­o­ra­bilia items.

The five-page con­tract is the Yan­kees’ copy that Barry Halper once pur­chased from for­mer owner Ja­cob Rup­pert’s es­tate. It is con­sid­ered the most im­por­tant doc­u­ment in sports his­tory. Not only did it start the Yan­kees on a path of win­ning 27 World Se­ries ti­tles — in­clud­ing four with Ruth — but it doomed gen­er­a­tions of Red Sox play­ers and fans un­der “the curse of the Bam­bino.” The curse wasn’t lifted un­til 2004, when Bos­ton won its first World Se­ries in 86 years.

That Rup­pert copy was sold pri­vately in 2005 and hasn’t changed hands un­til now. It started with an open­ing bid of $100,000 and was up to $235,795 as of Fri­day.

There are three copies of the Ruth con­tract. The Red Sox copy was sold for $996,000 to a Yan­kees fan dur­ing an auc­tion at Sotheby’s in 2005. The Amer­i­can League copy has never sur­faced.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to cre­ate an auc­tion where there is the best of the best,” Le­lands.com chair­man Josh Evans said. “This is an auc­tion where you can re­ally fo­cus on each prod­uct and go all out. These are items that only come to the mar­ket once in a life­time.”

Ruth’s ring, which is for the first of four ti­tles he won with the Yan­kees, could fetch the high­est price of all the items. It also started at $100,000 and had a cur­rent bid of $313,842.

That sea­son Ruth had one of the great­est years in base­ball his­tory with a .356 bat­ting av­er­age, 60 home runs and 156 RBIs. He went 6 for 15 in the World Se­ries sweep against the Pittsburgh Pi­rates, with two home runs and seven RBIs.

The auc­tion also fea­tures the ball that Pete Rose hit to break Ty Cobb’s hit record; Sandy Ko­ufax’s rookie jer­sey with the Brook­lyn Dodgers in 1955; a 1950-51 Joe DiMag­gio game-used uni­form; a 1957 Wil­lie Mays New York Giants game-worn, signed jer­sey from his last Polo Grounds game; and a 1939 Lou Gehrig game-used bat.

The most unique non-base­ball item might be the Olympic gold and sil­ver medals won by Chan­dler Egan in 1904. That was the last time golf was an Olympic sport un­til it re­turned for the Rio Games.

“A con­sis­tent theme from the sale is that there is tremen­dous cross­over his­tor­i­cally for a lot of the items,” Evans said.

MICHAEL PASCUCCI, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

This im­age pro­vided by Le­lands.com, shows New York Yan­kee’s’ Babe Ruth’s 1927 World Se­ries ring.

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