Baseball legend Babe Ruth's coaching uniform expected to fetch $500,000

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Baseball legend Babe Ruth's coaching uniform expected to fetch $500,000
This Babe Ruth uniform is the top item in a stunning 350 piece private collection.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- What makes a cotton baseball uniform worth $500,000? The answer is that the Brooklyn Dodgers coaching uniform was worn by Babe Ruth, America’s baseball hero. For baseball fans, this uniform is the equivalent of the Holy Grail.

This Babe Ruth uniform is the top item in a stunning 350 piece private collection amassed over 30 years and it will all be offered by Julien’s Auctions, the world record breaking auction house specializing in Sports, Hollywood, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Contemporary Art, and more.

The Babe Ruth Brooklyn Dodgers coaching uniform was worn by him during the 1938 season and it is without doubt one of the top highlights in the sale. Recently, a Babe Ruth New York Yankees road jersey dating from 1928-30 sold for $5.64 million, breaking the record for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold. The market for celebrity sports items is one of the fastest growing alternative investment sectors in the auction world.

Babe Ruth was known to many as the “Sultan of Swat” and “The Great Bambino”. Babe Ruth – quite arguably the greatest baseball player of all time – earned himself a plethora of nicknames. Debuting in 1914 for the Boston Red Sox, Ruth was a pitcher more than a hitter early on his career. From 1914 to 1919, as a member of the Red Sox, Babe Ruth started 143 games and compiled a record of 89-46 with an earned run average of 2.19, which ranks 5th all-time in Red Sox history. Ruth joined the Brooklyn Dodgers as a first base coach in June of 1938. It was his final official major league appearance. The uniform for sale with Julien’s is estimated to sell for $300,000-500,000.

Julien’s Auctions has announced its highly anticipated Sports auction event to take place on Thursday, 14th November, 2019 at The Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills and live online at In the multi-volume catalogue set, you will find a lifetime of fantastical and diverse items: Sports Memorabilia, Hollywood Memorabilia, Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia, and more.

In addition, Julien’s Auctions and luxury ocean liner company Cunard will bring this sports collection to the high seas in an exclusive auction exhibition aboard flagship Queen Mary 2 in a voyage departing New York on September 15 and arriving in Southampton on September 22.

On this Transatlantic Crossing, guests will enjoy:

• A daily, rotating exhibit with highlights from the collection

• Exclusive opportunity to bid on choice items in advance of the November general auction

• Q&A with Brett Hughes of Julien’s Auctions and Collector Dr. Goodman Espy

There are many other exciting and historically significant items in this sale, including a unique baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, who were briefly married for nine months in 1954-55. The marriage was full of unhappiness, tears, and general strife. However, once they divorced, their relationship was far from over, with Joe still trying to win her back. It seems Marilyn was deeply in love with Joe, even though her feelings most likely stemmed from her own tumultuous past and need for a figure like him in her life. The ball that commemorates the brief union of one of sports brightest stars with Hollywood’s most glamorous actress is estimated to sell for $100,000-$200,000.

The Julien’s sale also features five Babe Ruth single signed baseballs, of which two are in near perfect condition; these are estimated to sell for $40,000 to $60,000 each. Besides celebrity baseball memorabilia the sale also includes many sports trophies from boxing and football to Olympic gold medals.

A pair of Muhammad Ali boxing shorts from 1980 with a handwritten message reads: “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on earth” – these are estimated to sell for $20,000-40,000.

Brett Hughes, Managing Director of Global Sports for Julien’s Auctions, says: “This sports celebrity market is one of the fastest growing areas of alternative investment collectables; their value just keeps on growing. This particular collection from Dr. Goodman Basil Espy is comprised of carefully chosen items not seen on the market for three decades. These items represent the dreams and ambitions of the sportsmen who captured the hearts of millions. To own any of these items will doubtless be a dream come true for the lucky buyers. For true fans, the value of each lot is beyond price and will become a family heirloom.”

More highlights include…

A grey flannel jersey worn by Charlie Gehringer during the 1934 U.S. tour of Japan. The Tour was an essential and vital aspect of baseball’s growth in Japan. In November and December of 1934, the “All Americans” – an all-star like team composed of American League players of Major League Baseball – made their way to Japan as part of a 12-city tour. The team included Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Jimmie Foxx, Charlie Gehringer, and Babe Ruth. This was the sixth time that American baseball players had toured Japan, but it was the first time they had the opportunity to face professional Japanese ballplayers. Before heading to Japan, Gehringer had been selected as a member of the MLB All-Star Games for the 1933 and 1934 seasons (Inaugural All-Star Game in 1933), had finished second in Most Valuable Player voting in 1934, and had led the Detroit Tigers to the 1934 World Series. Estimate: $100,000-200,000

Mantle, nicknamed "The Commerce Comet", was one of the most illustrious, powerful, and decorated players of all time. Debuting in 1951 for the historic and dynamic New York Yankees, a franchise that had just won back-to-back World Series Championships in 1949 and 1950, Mantle began his career playing right field. In Game 2 of the 1951 World Series, Mantle sustained a right knee injury that plagued the rest of his career while chasing a Willie Mays fly ball that was eventually caught by teammate Joe DiMaggio. Touted and tabbed as the next Yankee great, Mantle was promoted full-time starter at center field in 1952, while replacing all-time great Joe DiMaggio. Mantle went on to be a 20-time Major League All-Star, 7-time World Series Champion, 3-time AL Most Valuable Player, 4-time AL home run leader, Triple Crown winner in 1956, and part of baseball’s All-Century Team. Mantle is the all-time World Series leader in a number of categories, including home runs, runs batted in, total bases, and walks.

Upon being called up to the Majors in 1951, Mickey Mantle was assigned the #6 due to the expectation that he would be the next Yankee great. He would be following in the footsteps of Babe Ruth (#3), Lou Gehrig (#4), and Joe DiMaggio (#5). After being sent back down to the Minors and being called back up, he had changed his number to #7. Estimate: $60,000-80,000

A contract agreement between Henry Louis Gehrig and the American League Baseball Club of New York for the 1933 season. The contract is signed by club President Jacob Ruppert and Gehrig with his legal signature Henry Louis Gehrig. Additionally signed as witness to the event, E.G. Barrow, Yankee's General Manager, dated March 10, 1933. The contract states the Yankees will pay Gehrig $23,000 in semi-monthly installments for that year. The contract was approved by the American League President as signed William Harridge and stamped April 12, 1933. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from JSA and certificate of authenticity from Thomas R. Andrews. Estimate: $80,000-120,000

A 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig card #61 signed in black ink. This is the second of the two Gehrig entries in the 1934 Goudey issue, both of which are considered the tops in the hobby. Accompanied by a COA. Estimate: $30,000-60,000

The pinstriped home jersey features "Mets" arching across the chest in blue and orange lettering, and number "37" to the back. Stengel established himself as a staple of Major League Baseball throughout the latter years of his career as a manager. Stengel’s playing career spanned from 1912 to 1925, as he donned the jersey of five historic franchises, including the Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants (San Francisco Giants), and Boston Braves (Atlanta Braves). Hobbled by injuries, his playing career was cut short, but he was able to be part of two World Series Championships with the New York Giants (San Francisco Giants).

Stengel became the first man in Major League Baseball to have his jersey retired by two organizations solely based on managerial accomplishments. Stengel’s #37 was retired by the New York Mets in 1967 and by the New York Yankees in 1970. Stengel was voted “Greatest Living Manger” in 1969, which also marked the centennial of Major League Baseball and had a total of 12th all-time in managerial wins. Estimate: $40,000-60,000

Hank Aaron began his career playing for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro League in 1952, but his soon brought into the Braves organization midway through 1952. The greatest homerun hitter in 20th century, and currently ranking second all time, only behind Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron displayed extraordinary power throughout his 23-year professional career. One of the most accomplished athletes in sports, Aaron, also famously known as “Hammerin’ Hank”, holds the record for most seasons as an All-Star and most All-Star Game selections. Aaron ranks first in a variety of Major League Baseball categories, including leading in most career runs batted in with 2,297, extra base hits with 1,447, and total bases with 6,856. He ranks third in most hits all time, third in career games played, and fourth in most runs scored all time. Aaron spent the majority of his career with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, from 1954 to 1974. After the 1965 season, the Milwaukee Braves relocated to Atlanta. His #44 jersey was retired by the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. Currently, Aaron is serving as the senior Vice President of the Atlanta Braves. Estimate: $60,000-80,000

A special exhibition in the U.S. for the public to view highlighted items prior to the auction will be held at The Standard Oil in Beverly Hills November 11th – November 13th, 2019.

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