Any baseball fan with a considerable amount of disposable income should take notice: A true piece of history is about to go to auction in Baltimore. The very first baseball that the legendary Babe Ruth, one of the most celebrated athletes of all time, ever hit out of the park at Yankee Stadium will be up for bidding exactly a century and one day after the Babe's major league debut. Oh, and did we mention that it's also the first ball hit by anyone to go over the fence at Yankee Stadium? The fact that the Babe hit it is just the icing on the cake. The memorabilia auction, in celebration of his major league debut, will feature several items expected to fetch millions.
The first home run at Yankee Stadium
It's worth noting that the moment in which this shot was belted into the bleachers was, in all likelihood, somewhat insignificant at the time. It wasn't in a major league game or even in a warm up. Rather, Babe Ruth hit the first home seen by the stadium into the right field bleachers two months before Yankee Stadium's grand opening in 1923. It was Valentine's Day, and a reporter had brought him there for an interview, which was set to occur following a few rounds of batting practice. Ruth also homered in the first official game in the stadium, but the ball from that day in February has been preserved and will be auctioned off this week.
It's hard to put a price on a piece of history as significant as this. Its current owner, Joel Platt, a museum proprietor from Boca Raton, believes it could fetch a bid well into the seven figure range.
"I think it could go for as high as $3 million or $4 million," Platt said to the Baltimore Sun. "I think that the value of what this could go for is limitless, for its historical significance and for the fact that it's Babe Ruth and Yankee Stadium. It's the first baseball ever hit for a home run at Yankee Stadium."
The auction, though in celebration of Babe Ruth's major league debut one century ago, will also feature an impressive collection of memorabilia from across all major sports, taken from the collections of various sports fans who are on consignment. Among other things, a basketball from the 1936 Olympics, a signed and game-worn Cal Ripken Jr. jersey, and Jamal Lewis' replica Lombardi trophy from Super Bowl XXXV will be up for bidding.