Babe Ruth 500th home run bat sells for more than $1 million

(Reuters) - Babe Ruth may have died more than 70 years ago, but the baseball slugger is still turning out big numbers. The bat he used to hit his 500th home run in 1929 has sold for $1,000,800 (780,046.77 pounds), officials for SCP Auctions announced on Sunday.

Reuters December 16, 2019 01:12:51 IST
Babe Ruth 500th home run bat sells for more than $1 million

Babe Ruth 500th home run bat sells for more than 1 million

(Reuters) - Babe Ruth may have died more than 70 years ago, but the baseball slugger is still turning out big numbers.

The bat he used to hit his 500th home run in 1929 has sold for $1,000,800 (780,046.77 pounds), officials for SCP Auctions announced on Sunday.

The bat, a gift from Ruth to a friend in the 1940s, was bought at auction in California by an unidentified buyer, SCP Auctions said.

It follows a bat, which the Sultan of Swat used in 1923 to hit the first home run out of the original Yankee Stadium, that sold for a record $1.3 million in 2004.

“Babe Ruth memorabilia continues to be among the most prized artifacts for all worldwide collectors,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler in a news release, “and this outstanding bat proved that once again.”

Ruth hit 714 home runs in a 22-season career with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees before retiring in 1935.

He became the first player to hit 30, 40, 50 and 60 home runs in a single season, and his slugging style forever changed the way baseball was played.

The 1929 bat, made of ash, was gifted by Ruth in the mid-1940s to the mayor of Suffern, New York, Jim Rice, a golfing, bowling and drinking buddy of one of baseball's original Hall of Famers.

For decades the historic bat leaned impassively in a corner of the Rice family den, treated not as a piece of history but more like a piece of furniture no different than the bookcase and coffee table.

After Jim and then his wife passed away, the bat spent three decades hidden in a closet in the home of their only son Terry.

The childhood joy Terry had reveled in from owning such a sporting treasure has given way to dread, the bat too valuable to display or even tell anyone about.

"It just got to the point I couldn't leave it out," Rice told Reuters. "I was less cautious years ago but more recently I hardly told anybody.

"I just couldn't enjoy it, it was hidden away. My girlfriend was afraid to have it here, that somebody would break in so we weren't enjoying it.

"It just seemed time," he said.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; additional reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.