By Sean Hartnett
Back in his Roaring Twenties heyday, Babe Ruth smashed Major League Baseball’s record books and became one of the most celebrated athletes in American history.
More than 70 years after his death, “The Sultan of Swat” is continuing to set records in the memorabilia industry. Ruth’s game-worn 1928-30 New York Yankees road jersey sold for an impressive $5.64 million at an auction handled by Hunt Auctions.
The auction house claimed that the jersey broke the previous record for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold. A 1920 Ruth jersey previously held the record, at a sale price of $4,415,658.
Ruth’s 1928-30 road jersey was sold as part of a collection that was put up for sale by the Ruth family. Over 400 items of Ruth memorabilia were up for grabs at the auction.
“For many years, we cherished the items within his personal collection and have been blessed to represent his legacy through our many family endeavors,” Ruth Tosetti told ESPN. “The decision to share items from his personal collection was made with careful consideration and the intent to further his legacy within a new generation of baseball fans.
"Babe's collection has remained largely unknown to the general public, and we felt it was time to bring these amazing pieces of his life to light. There could be no other place to showcase these items than Yankee Stadium, and we are also thrilled to be able to benefit related charitable entities through the sale of these items.”
During a storied 22-year career, Ruth socked 714 home runs. The mark stood as an all-time record until Hank Aaron surpassed “The Great Bambino” during the 1974 season. Controversial slugger Barry Bonds currently holds the all-time record with 762 home runs.
Ruth set the single-season home run record of 60 during the 1927 season. He was eclipsed by fellow Yankee outfielder Roger Maris by a single long ball during the 1961 season. Bonds also holds the current single-season home run record with 73 home runs hit during the 2001 season.
Ruth was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. The Yankees retired his famous no. 3 in 1948.