• Rare Babe Ruth jersey could break record for most-expensive sports memorabilia item

    By: Mark Osborne, ABC News

    Updated:

    Babe Ruth broke about every record there was in baseball during his Hall of Fame career. Why not add a memorabilia record to that list?

    A rare game-worn jersey from the Sultan of Swat will go up for auction Saturday in a bid to break the record for the most pricey piece of sports memorabilia ever. Of course, just like he did four times with the MLB home run record, he'd be breaking his own memorabilia record.

    The previous record is $4.4 million for a Ruth jersey that sold in 2012. Experts believe this jersey will eclipse the $4.5 million barrier.

    The jersey dates back to the late 1920s, when the Bambino would've been in his hitting prime. He set the home run record that would stand until 1961 in the 1927 season and hit at least 45 homers each season from 1926 to 1931.

    "For well over a decade, I have been researching and evaluating significant major league uniforms of the 20th century,” said Dave Grob, who authenticated the jersey on behalf of SGC, a sports memorabilia company. “Every time I am presented with a historic uniform like this striking Babe Ruth example, I am always rooting for the jersey because, if it proves to be authentic, it means that an extraordinary piece of baseball history has survived."

    The jersey does not bear pinstripes, it's a road gray jersey, but it does have "YANKEES" emblazoned across the front, which only existed from 1927 to 1930. The team generally has had an arched "NEW YORK" on the front of road jerseys and the famous interlocking "N-Y" on the front on their home uniforms.

    The current owner of the jersey is anonymous.

    It will be auctioned off Saturday at Yankee Stadium as part of a lot of items from the man many consider the greatest baseball player, if not American athlete, of all-time. Hunt Auctions is holding the event, which also features game-worn cleats, contracts and autographs, among over 100 items.

    If auctioneers are looking for someone with a lot of money, at least one billionaire is known to be a fan of the Babe: President Donald Trump. He awarded the late slugger the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, last November.

    Ruth retired in 1935, with the Boston Braves not the Yankees, and died in 1948 at just 53 years old. He was an inaugural member of the Hall of Fame in 1936.

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