A Babe Ruth jersey set a new record this week by selling for $5.64 million at auction—the largest sum ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia.
According to Hunt Auctions (h/t ESPN.com), the jersey dated back to between 1928 and 1930 and broke the previous record of $4.4 million set by a 1920 Ruth jersey.
Hunt Auctions @HuntAuctions
The Babe it still breaking records! Jersey worn by @mlb and @Yankees icon Babe Ruth c. 1928-30 sets a world record price of $5,640,000 for any piece of sports memorabilia!! Live auction at @yankeestadium still has the mythical presence of the Bambino #Yankees #SultanofSwat https://t.co/4yFirdcjK6
Ruth's granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, said the following about the decision to sell more than 400 pieces of Ruth memorabilia at auction:
"For many years, we cherished the items within his personal collection and have been blessed to represent his legacy through our many family endeavors. The decision to share items from his personal collection was made with careful consideration and the intent to further his legacy within a new generation of baseball fans. Babe's collection has remained largely unknown to the general public and we felt it was time to bring these amazing pieces of his life to light. There could be no other place to showcase these items than Yankee Stadium and we are also thrilled to be able to benefit related charitable entities through the sale of these items."
The Great Bambino, who died at the age of 53 in 1948, played 22 MLB seasons with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Boston Braves. The seven-time World Series champion and Baseball Hall of Famer hit .342 with 714 home runs, 2,214 RBI and 2,174 runs scored en route to becoming arguably the most prolific hitter in baseball history.
After beginning his career as a pitcher with the Red Sox, Ruth was famously sold to the Yankees in 1919 and went on to become the biggest star the sport has ever seen.