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Press Release - April 24, 2018

Babe Ruth’s 60th Home Run Record Bat From 1927 Season May Bring $1 Million in Heritage’s Sports Memorabilia Catalog Auction

Of supreme significance, Ruth bat anchors nearly 1,400 lots in season's first memorabilia-only auction

1927 Babe Ruth Game Used Record Sixtieth Home Run Bat

Babe Ruth's 60th home run baseball bat
DALLAS, Texas (April 24, 2018) — The game-used bat Babe Ruth swung to smash a terrific 60th home run — the 1927 right-field bomb that set a 34-year record — is estimated to sell for $1 million or more in Heritage Auction's spring Sports Memorabilia Catalog Auction May 17-18. Considered one of the greatest treasures in baseball history, the bat makes its auction debut among nearly 1,400 memorabilia-only lots for all collecting disciplines.

"It's definitely a contender for the best bat in the hobby," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. "Ruth hit 17 home runs in September 1927 to break his own record — the best month of his career. It's a piece marking the absolute prime of the game's greatest figure and the pinnacle of New York Yankees history as well."

Authenticated GU 10 by experts at PSA/DNA, Ruth's record-breaking bat shows extensive game use, which suggests it served a lengthy tenure in the hands of the game's foremost slugger. Multiple ball marks and stitch impressions on the left barrel match Ruth's label-down, left-handed swing. Attesting to its rich provenance, the right barrel is inscribed "To Joe E. Brown From Babe Ruth." One of Ruth's friends and a figure familiar to most veteran hobbyists, Brown was a much-beloved comedian and movie star and widely regarded as the first celebrity sports memorabilia collector. A 2012 notarized letter from Don E. Brown — son of Joe L. Brown and grandson of Joe E. Brown — accompanies the bat and discusses the history of the collection and this bat in particular.

Equal to Ruth in mastery of his chosen field of endeavor, if not in global fame, the extraordinary Jack Smalling Baseball Autograph Collection supplies the auction with the most comprehensive autograph collection ever made available to the collecting hobby. Smalling literally wrote the book on collecting autographs through the mail—The Baseball Autograph Collector's Handbook—and his 13,000 autographs offered as a single lot include such elite rarities as Vic Willis, Mickey Welch, Martin Dihigo and Josh Gibson.

Gridiron gamers have emerged as a strong theme in this sale, with photo-matched jerseys from current and future Canton immortals Bobby Layne, Troy Aikman, Brett Favre and Tom Brady. Also on offer is a veritable treasure trove of awards includes championship rings from all four major American sports and legendary jockey Jose Santos' personal trophies for winning The Preakness Stakes and The Belmont Stakes.

Historical highlights include:

1930-32 John Wooden Game-Worn Purdue Boilermakers Jersey, MEARS A9 (est. $30,000+)

Lou Gehrig-Signed First Baseman's Mitt, circa 1930s (est. $50,000+)

A Photo-Matched, 2006 Tom Brady Game-Worn New England Patriots Uniform (est. $50,000+)

Eddie Collins Single-Signed Baseball, circa late 1930s (est. $40,000+)

A 1934 Tour of Japan Team-Signed Photograph (est. $30,000+)

1938 Jimmie Foxx Game-Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9 – MVP Season (est. $30,000+)

Circa 1946 Honus Wagner Game-Worn Pittsburgh Pirates Coach's Jersey (est. $30,000+)

1971 Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl VI Championship Ring Presented to Punter Ron Widby (est. $30,000+)

A Photo-Matched, 1950-53 Bobby Layne Game-Worn Detroit Lions Jersey (est. $20,000+)

1948 Rocky Marciano New England Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Belt (est. $20,000+)

Heritage Auctions' Sports Catalog Auction #50002 is now open for bidding and will close in Extended Bidding format at 10 p.m. CST May 17-18.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

Eric Bradley, Public Relations Director

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