Baseball legend Babe Ruth may have only been set up to earn $5,000 playing on his 1918 Boston Red Sox contract, but the piece of paper itself earned more than $1 million on Saturday when it was auctioned off in Baltimore.
Goldin Auctions, the New Jersey-based company that organized the auction at the Sports Legends Museum, did not release the name of the buyer, who paid $1.02 million for the document. The paper includes the signatures of Ruth, American League President Ban Johnson and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, who in 1919 famously sold Ruth to the New York Yankees.
Buyers also scooped up other Ruth memorabilia, including one of his bats, which sold for $215,000, and a signed ball, which sold for $96,000. Ruth’s first home run ball from Yankees Stadium, which was estimated to sell at more than $100,000, failed to sell.
Items from other baseball legends also flew off the auction block:
- One of Mickey Mantle’s gloves from 1965/1966 went for $180,000
- A Roy Campanella MVP award went for $180,000
- A full set of ticket stubs from the clinching games of each of the Yankees’ 27 championships went for $58,000