Christie’s is auctioning off a private single owner collection of rare baseball memorabilia including a Babe Ruth notched baseball bat and a letter denying reinstatement to players involved in the Black Sox 1919 World Series scandal.
“We’ve got a bat from 1928/29 that in and of itself is a very fine Babe Ruth professional model bat, but this one is a bit more special. It actually has eight homerun notches,” David Hunt, President of Hunt Auctions said.
The bat, one of only two or three in private hands according to Hunt, could sell for $500,000 to a million dollars at the auction.
“So the ‘Extra Innings’ collection is really one of the more historic private baseball memorabilia collections that’s been offered at public auction,” Hunt said.
The collection also contains an original ‘Bustin Babe’s’ barnstorming hat worn by the Bronx Bomber during promotional tours.
“Players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig wanted to earn some extra money after the season, so they would take barnstorming tours across the country and play local town teams, steel mill teams to make some extra money and draw thousands of fans,” Hunt said.
Several ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson items are also available. Jackson was one of eight Chicago White Sox players involved in the 1919 World Series scandal.
“One of the key pieces in 1919 Black Sox collection is an original letter dated in 1923 on Major League Baseball stationery… this is the letter sent to ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson denying his reinstatement,” Hunt said. The letter specifically makes reference to “throwing the 1919 World Series.”
The Public is welcome to preview the collection in person at Christie’s New York City location. In-person visits are by appointment only.
The Auction starts October 7th.