Babe Ruth's 1923 World Series pocket watch is going on auction in New York, and experts say the piece could sell for more than $1 million. While official estimates of the value of the watch are a modest $750,000, Steve Costello, executive vice president of Steiner Sports Collectibles, told CBS news, "Whenever you get something that's one-of-a-kind item from Babe Ruth, the sky's the limit."
1923 was a landmark year for the New York Yankees. It was that year that the team moved to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx from its Manhattan location. The Bronx stadium is often referred to as "The House the Ruth Built", as it was Babe Ruth's performance and popularity that drove the ticket sales that financed the new facility.
This year was also the Yankees' first World Series win. They ended up beating the NY Giants in just six games. The team would go on to win 26 more World Series titles and become one of the greatest in the MLB. Back in that time, winning players were given a pocket watch instead of a ring. It is this pocket watch that will go to auction in New York at the end of February.
Babe Ruth's legacy
Nicknamed "The Great Bambino," Babe Ruth was born to working-class parents in Baltimore. It was at his Catholic school that his great passion and talent for baseball were discovered. Soon after, in February 1914, at only 19 years old, he was drafted onto the Baltimore Orioles. It was there that Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth Jr., got his name Babe due to his young age at the time of signing.
Ruth was quickly sold to the Red Sox and began playing in games in July 1914. He stayed on in Boston for five years until he was sold to the New York Yankees on December 26, 1919, a date that has since gone down in infamy.
It was Ruth's career with the New York Yankees for which he is most noted. He led that team to seven pennants and four World Series titles, and was featured on the legendary "Murderer's Row" team in 1927. He was one of the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame and set more than 56 major league records in his time.
The championship pocket watch
As was the tradition at the time, Babe Ruth was awarded a pentagonal gold pocket watch for winning the World Series in 1923. The watch features engravings of a pitcher, a batter and a catcher with a ball in flight. The words "Babe Ruth", "Yankees" and "World Champions 1923" surround the image.