Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Memorabilia Ever Sold
Memorabilia symbolizes the history, pride, and value of a sport and its players. And, it’s the greatest example of why holding on to memorabilia is an important part of collecting. You never know what your pieces will be worth in the future. (Imagine the thoughts of whoever did Babe Ruth’s laundry, when his jerseys now sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars each). Among an elite circle of buyers and collectors, rare memorabilia are bought and sold for prices soaring into the millions. Here are the 10 most expensive pieces of sports memorabilia ever sold.
10. FA Cup - $956,000
The Football Association Challenge Cup, known as the English FA Cup, is the oldest soccer competition in the world. Everyone knows that the English love their football, and that’s because regional clubs have deep roots. The FA cup is an annual tradition, the first of which took place in the 1871-1872 season. Only four trophies were ever made, and only one sold to an anonymous buyer. Arsenal and Manchester United are the leaders in cup wins, although Chelsea won the cup this year.
9. Babe Ruth's 1919 Yankees Contract - $996,000
1919 is the year that Babe Ruthsigned on with the New York Yankees, and his first year breaking records to change the game forever. Ruth switched from pitcher to outfielder and played with the Yankees for 15 seasons. In his first season as a Yankee, Ruth broke the record for the number of home runs hit in a month, and then beat his own record the following month. Ruth became the highest paid baseball player in the league when he renewed his Yankees contract for another three years in 1922.
8. MuhammadAli 1965 Floyd Patterson Fight Gloves - $1.1 Million
The fight that became iconic for followers going beyond boxing. Floyd Pattersonspoke out against Black Muslims, and the two entered the ring for the fight in 1965 with no love for one another. Patterson claimed that Ali winning the title would be un-American, to which MuhammadAlireminded him to look at his tax payments to see where Ali fought and who he represented. The 1965 fight lasted a lengthy 12 rounds, which became difficult to watch. After Patterson was knocked down in the sixth round, he stubbornly refused to relent, and Ali spent the rest of the match taunting his opponent for another several rounds. Ali’s win was not just a win for him as a boxer, but a triumph for the American civil rights movement.
7. Sheffield Football Club Rules, Regulations & Laws -$1.24 Million
Currently based in Derbyshire, Sheffield Football Clubis the oldest football (soccer) club in the world. The only known surviving copy of the rules and regulations, hand written in 1858, sold in 2011 for more than a million dollars. The club literally wrote the rules on the game as we know it today.
6. Babe Ruth 1923 First Yankee Stadium Home Run Bat - $1.265 Million
Babe Ruth achieved his own dreams by hitting the first home run in the first game played at the brand new Yankee Stadium. And, as only fate could dictate, the Yankees were playing against their rivals and Ruth’s former team, the Boston Red Sox. Although the bat became a source of superstition amongst fans, i.e. it could never be destroyed, the stadium became known as The House that Ruth Built.
5. Paul Henderson 1972 Jersey - $1.275 Million
Canadians have dominated ice hockey practically since the beginning of the sport, but who helped the sport and the individual teams reach the status they currently have? One of those players is Paul Henderson. He wore what would become the most expensive hockey jersey ever sold during the Canadian victory over the Soviet Union team in the first Summit Series. Representing the Toronto Maple Leafs, Henderson made the winning play with only 34 seconds left in the game. Canada ended up winning seven out of the eight games in the series, and Henderson became a national hero. After the jersey’s auction, it went on tour across Canada along with a collection of other rare Canadian hockey memorabilia.
4. Mark McGwire's 70th Home Run Ball - $3 Million
Mark McGwireset a record for 70 home runs in a single season while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. The 70th run, pitched by Billy Wagner of the Houston Astros, propelled him to record breaking status. Now a coach for the San Diego Padres, Barry Bondsof the San Francisco Giants beat the record with 73 runs in 2001.
3. Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card - $3.12 Million
This is the most valuable baseball card in the world, and the idol of card collectors. The mint condition card of legendary Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Honus Wagnerfirst sold for $2.8 million in 2007. Wagner won eight batting titles in his career, and places third in the highest number of batting titles of all time.
2. James Naismith's 1891 Rules of Basketball - $4.3 Million
Basketball inventor James Naismithwrote the 13 rules of basketball in 1891 to entertain athletes at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, MA. His students needed an indoor game that would help them stay in shape during the harsh winters but couldn’t be too rough for fear of injuries affecting the spring seasons. Buyer David Booth felt that the rules should return to Kansas University, since Naismith founded the basketball program at the prestigious school.
1. Babe Ruth 1920 Jersey - $4.415 Million
Babe Ruth memorabilia is no joke. With three spots on this list, the best baseball player of all time deserves the recognition that allows his memory to live on. The 1920 Yankees jersey is the earliest known jersey worn by The Bambino. The jersey was originally a part of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore but was bought at an auction by rare sports memorabilia mogul Joshua Leland Evans. Rather than auctioning it off, Leland promised to find a home with a private collector.
While our memorabilia at Dynasty Sports is certainly not in the same financial league as those mentioned above, we do have a large selection of autographed and signed memorabiliato choose from, many of which have the potential to grow in value over the years to come.