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Babe Ruth Sets More Records With $5 Million Sale of Jersey, Cap

Babe Ruth holds two more records as a shirt and a cap he wore in baseball games sold for almost $5 million yesterday.

A New York Yankees jersey, the earliest known one to have been worn by Ruth in a game, fetched $4.42 million at auction, a record for an item of sports memorabilia. A cap worn by him during the early 1930s commanded a winning bid of $537,278.

“This proves again that Babe Ruth is king in the sports memorabilia world,” SCP Auctions President David Kohler said in a news release from the company yesterday.

The jersey, estimated to date from about 1920, eclipsed the $4.34 million paid for James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball in 2010. The hat, sold by former Yankees pitcher David Wells, garnered an unprecedented price for a baseball cap.

The sale also included a bat used by Ruth during the 1920s, which sold for $591,007. Other high-yielding baseball items in the auction included a 1954 Hank Aaron Topps rookie card, which had a winning bid of $537,954, and a 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps rookie card that went for $432,690.

Ruth hit 714 home runs and won seven World Series titles, three with the Boston Red Sox and four with the Yankees. He ranks third on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds and Aaron after 22 years with the Red Sox, Yankees and Boston Braves. An outfielder and pitcher, Ruth led the American League in home runs 12 times and his 2,213 runs batted in are second only to Aaron.

High School Fundraiser

Wells said in an interview with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line” that he decided to sell the cap, which he purchased for $35,000, to raise funds to help pay for renovations to the baseball field at his San Diego high school. The navy blue flannel cap with Ruth’s name embroidered into it had an estimated sale price of $400,000.

The son of former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor is $230,401 better off after selling the ring his father won in the Super Bowl following the 1990 National Football League season.

The sale price for the item, which features 19 diamonds, was more than double SCP’s $100,000 estimate and established a new record for a Super Bowl ring.

Taylor gave the ring to Lawrence Jr. who elected to sell it, SCP said.

Taylor, 53, was selected to 10 Pro Bowls in a 13-year career spent entirely in New York. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1986, a three-time defensive player of the year and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

The Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in the Super Bowl on Jan. 27, 1991, as Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal in the closing seconds.

The original rules of basketball, written by Naismith in 1891, were sold Dec. 10, 2010, at Sotheby’s in New York.

The two-page typed document with Naismith’s handwritten notes were purchased by David G. Booth, executive officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors.

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