A game-used New York Yankees jersey worn by Babe Ruth in the late 1920s is expected to set the all-time world sales record for a piece of sports memorabilia with an expected price tag of over $4.5 million when it hits the auction block June 15.
On Tuesday, Emily Caron of Sports Illustrated reported the jersey, which will be sold by Hunt Auctions, is extraordinarily rare because it has "Yankees" written across the chest. The club has predominately used pinstripe uniforms with just a logo at home and gray uniforms with New York on the chest on the road.
Hunt Auctions @HuntAuctions
UPDATE: Babe Ruth NY Yankees Jersey added to Ruth Collection Live Auction at @yankeestadium. Professional model Yankees Road Jersey Worn by the #Bambino dates to the 1928-30 era with Potential to Set World Record Pricing in Excess of $4,000,000! @NewYorkYankees #SultanofSwat @MLB https://t.co/0dx9NChNR4
Hunt Auctions president David Hunt released a statement to SI about the unique item.
"The scarcity and desirability of this particular Babe Ruth jersey simply cannot be overstated," he said. "Ruth game-worn jerseys are the pinnacle of collecting and investment pursuits within the marketplace with the current offering marking a generational opportunity. We fully expect demand and bidding interest befitting the greatest figure in the history of the sport."
Ruth's grandson, Tom Stevens, also provided a statement confirming the jersey has stayed with the family for more than 70 years:
"This special auction will provide the opportunity to share some of the Ruth family memorabilia that has remained in our possession since the Babe's passing in 1948. None of these items have been previously offered to the collecting public. The Babe lived a life that was meaningful to millions of fans for many diverse reasons. Perhaps one of the most important was that he offered hope and inspiration during the depths of the depression, because despite his humble beginnings, Babe Ruth grew up to become the very embodiment of the American Dream. And make no mistake, he is still as relevant today as ever. This offering of items provides glimpses of that life, in and out of baseball. I sincerely hope that they bring great pleasure to the winning bidders as they did my family, while generating some income for some very worthwhile charities."
Ruth, who also played for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves, ranks third all-time in home runs with 714. His Hall of Fame career also included seven World Series championships and the 1923 American League Most Valuable Player Award.
The live auction will take place at Yankee Stadium in New York City.