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Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger Sold at Record Price for a Baseball Bat

A bat used by Babe Ruth over 100 years ago has fetched a record price of $1.85 million at a private auction, Hunt Auctions announced Wednesday, the most ever for a baseball bat.

Perhaps even more notable than the astronomical price of the bat was the way it was authenticated.

The Louisville Slugger bat—known as the “Polo Grounds” bat and used by Ruth circa 1920 to ’21—was purchased by collector Justin Cornett purchased in February 2018 for $400,800 without a photo match. According to ESPN’s Dan Hajducky, the bat was certified using photographic evidence from 1921 when PSA/DNA photo expert Henry Yee confirmed it was the same bat used by Ruth using a photo from ’21.

Historic Babe Ruth professional model bat once displayed at Polo Grounds sold for $1,850,000. The bat was assigned the highest grade (GU10) by @PSAcard in addition to being photo matched to 1921 season. World record price for any baseball bat! @Yankees @MLB

— Hunt Auctions (@HuntAuctions) April 5, 2023

The 1921 season was a banner year for Ruth. It was his second with the Yankees, and he set a then-record with 59 home runs and 168 RBIs. The Yankees appeared in their first-ever World Series that year, losing to the Giants in eight games.

Another notable aspect about Ruth’s Polo Grounds bat is its weight: it tips the scales at 44.6 ounces, far heavier than those used in today’s game.

“It is without surprise that the Babe has once again pushed yet another sports memorabilia category to record pricing territory,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions. “This baseball bat is as close to a work of art as the medium can allow.”

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