Babe Ruth’s Bat Sells For $1.85 Million

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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A bat used by baseball legend Babe Ruth during one of the most successful seasons of his career sold at auction Wednesday for $1.85 million, making it the most expensive bat ever sold.

The seller, longtime collector Justin Cornett, obtained the bat for just over $400,000 in February 2018, according to Sports Collectors Daily. After his purchase, Cornett sought to increase the value of his newly acquired collectible by seeking out a photo that would place the bat in the hands of Ruth.

Seeking turned to finding after expert in authentication and memorabilia, Henry Lee, found one photo of Ruth out of hundreds, that showed the Sultan of Swat swinging the bat Cornett had purchased. The photo in question was a well-known one of Ruth, taken during a game at the Polo Grounds between 1920 and 1922, the outlet reported.

The bat in the photograph matched “five key points” to Cornett’s bat including four v-shaped “witches peaks” extending down the center of the bat and one grain pattern near the handle, the outlet reported. The 1921 season for Ruth was arguably one of his best, the outlet reported, where the legend set a new home run record, according to the outlet.

In August 2022, another bat signed and used by The Babe sold at auction for $1.68 million, making it the most valuable game-used bat ever sold at auction until this latest sale, Sports Collector Daily stated. The artifact that holds the record for the most expensive piece of baseball memorabilia sold at auction was a 1928-1930 road jersey, also owned by Ruth. It sold for a whopping $5.64 million in 2019. (RELATED: REPORT: Letter From Babe Ruth To His Mistress Sells For More Than $200,000]

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