It’s hard to think of a time when Babe Ruth wasn’t a Yankee, but the “Great Bambino” actually spent his first six years of professional baseball in Boston, something Red Sox fans are quick to dismiss. Now, the first home run ball Ruth hit as a New York Yankee is up for auction.
The ball is signed by the Babe and dated February 14th 1923, which corresponds with the first time he came to “New Yankee Field” while it was still under construction. That day, Ruth was asked to come to the ball park to take some batting practice and inspect the new field. On Valentine’s Day, in a snow-covered Yankee Stadium, Ruth took batting practice, while wearing a suit, and this ball is believed to be the first hit out of the newly-constructed stadium.
One of the most important baseballs to ever go up for auction was recovered by a groundskeeper at Yankee Stadium that day and kept in his collection for many years. Eventually the ball was given to baseball collector Joel Platt and the man with the golden ball contacted Goldin Auctions, who is having a Babe Ruth-themed auction in July. The baseball will be up for auction at the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore on July 12-13th.
“It’s rare that you find something in this industry that you didn’t even know existed, Goldin Auctions president Ken Goldin said. I think the Yankees should buy this.”
The signature on the baseball has been verified by two different authentication companies. Even though the ball was not an American League sanctioned ball or used in a regulation game, this piece of baseball history is expected to bring in close to six figures. The first home run Ruth hit while in Yankee pinstripes, which was on Opening Day 1923, sold for $126,500 in 1998.
Die-hard Yankee fans or baseball enthusiast should expect to pay around the same price if they want to add this remarkable find to their illustrious collection.