Around the world, sports are a very important aspect in many peoples lives. They are a cultural staple as well as a source of entertainment after a long day of work. There are people that adore sports so much that they collect pieces of memorabilia to keep with them as a reminder of their favorite player, or favorite game, or simply of their favorite sport. These items can get very costly, but true fans don’t mind dishing out the money. So what items should you be looking for if you want a valuable item from the sports world? Here are the 10 most valuable pieces of sports memorabilia.
10. Babe Ruth 1932 “Called Shot” Jersey $940,000
George Herman Ruth, Jr. was nicknamed Babe Ruth. He played baseball from 1914-1935 for three different teams; the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Braves and the New York Yankees. Babe played as a pitcher and right fielder and was best-known for his home run power. While playing for the Yankees in the world series of 1932, in the third game the score was tied four to four in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs players had been giving Babe a hard time about his hitting. When Babe came up to bat, he pointed to the bleachers in center field and on the next pitch he hit his fifteenth home run of the year, exactly where he had pointed. This home run is legendary and became known as Babe Ruth’s called shot.
9. Babe Ruth 1919 Yankees Contract with Red Sox $996,000
Babe Ruth had 29 home runs for the Boston Red Sox in 1919 and everyone was surprised when he was sold to the New York Yankees; however, he went on to hit 54 home runs in 1920 for the New York Yankees. No one is sure how the contract between the Boston Red Sox owner and the owners of the New York Yankees was first sold but in July of 2005 it was sold for $996,000. The contract shows that Babe was sold from Boston to the Yankees for $100,000 in 1919. The document stated that if Babe did not show up for training in 1920 the first payment was to be returned. Boston fans believe that this sell cost Boston to go into a slump that lasted for 86 years before appearing in their next world series.
8. Muhammad Ali’s Boxing Gloves from 1965 Fight Against Floyd Patterson $1.1 million
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. Ali and was voted one of the top Sportsman of the century. These boxing gloves, which were sold for $1.1 million, were worn against Floyd Patterson in 1965 heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was Ali’s second championship fight. Many believe that Ali was upset because of taunts delivered by Patterson and he prolonged the fight not delivering the knockout punch until the 12th round.
7. Babe Ruth Bat from First Home Run at Yankee Stadium (1923) $1,265,000
Babe Ruth had three nicknames, “Babe”, “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat” and he lived up to all of them. In 1920, Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs with the first being against the team that sold him, the Boston Red Sox. When the bat was sold for $1,265,000 it was the highest price paid for a bat and still is. Babe Ruth remains one of the most loved baseball players of all time. His memorabilia has been a leading seller of all sports memorabilia ever. The bat is 36 inches in length with a weight of 42 ounces. Babe Ruth was known to carve notches in his bat for each home run he made in a year.
6. Paul Henderson 1972 Summit Series Jersey $1,275,707
Paul Henderson was a professional ice hockey player for Canada. He wore number 19 and scored the winning goal in 3 of the 8 games in 1972 against the Soviet Union. Paul Henderson played over 1000 games in MLH (Major League Hockey) and scored 758 points during that time. He played for The Toronto Toros and The Birmingham Bulls. With all of his success in league games, the Summit Series of 1972 still remains the highlight of his career. He has twice been voted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; in 1994 as an individual player and 2005 as a member of the Canadian nation team.
5. Soccer Rules Book (circa 1859) $1.4 million (£881,250)
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. There are eleven players on each team and the game is played on a rectangular field. Soccer is played in over 200 countries making it the world’s most popular sport. The goalkeepers are allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms all other players must use their feet or head only. The Soccer Rule Book is the first known set of soccer rules and was written in 1858; this book is hand-written. It is believed to be the only surviving print copy of the Rules, Regulation, & Laws of the Sheffield Football Club.
4. Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card $2.8 million
Honus Wagner was nicknamed The Flying Dutchman. He played with the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburg Pirates for 21 years (from 1897 -1917). Honus Wagner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Most believe him to be one of the best all-time players of the game. This 1909 baseball card was produced to be included in a pack of cigarettes by the American Tobacco Company and Wagner refused to allow this to be done so there was only 60-200 ever released. Honus did not want children to buy the cigarettes in order to get his card.
3. Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run Ball (1998) $3 million
Mark McGwire is nicknamed Big Mac and played baseball for 16 years; from 1984-1997 with the Oakland Athletics and from 1997-2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He broke the record with 70 home runs in 1998 and hit 583 home runs in his career. The ball that he hit the 70th home run with was sold for $3 million. McGwire hit the 70th home run off Carl Pavano of the Montreal Expos in his last at bat of the season. The St. Louis Cardinals won the game 6-3.
2. James Naismith’s Founding Rules of Basketball (1891) $4,338,500
James Naismith is given credit for creating the game of basketball. He was the Athletic Director at Kansas University for 40 years. In 1891, he wrote the Rules of Basketball. When it went on the auction block it sold for $4,338,500. It is called the birth certificate of basketball. James Naismith is also credited with the first football helmet to protect his players. He was the first member of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame which is named after him. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, Kansas State Sports Hall of Fame and FIBA Hall of Fame as well as several others.
1. Babe Ruth Jersey (circa 1920) $4,415,658
Babe Ruth retired in 1925 and had a total of 713 home runs. No one can refute that he was one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. A jersey worn by Babe sold for $4,415,658 making it the highest selling sports memorabilia of all-time. The jersey was worn in 1920 and the earliest known jersey worn by Babe with the Yankees. The jersey had been on display at The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore. No one is sure why it came up for auction.
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