Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction – Be a part of the Auction of the Century

Consign with Heritage Auctions to Achieve Record-Setting Results. We are accepting significant material for the August 23-25, 2024 Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction, Deadline: Wednesday, June 26, 2024!

Babe Ruth’s ‘Called Shot’ Jersey Steps Up to the Plate at Heritage Auctions in August

Babe Ruth’s fifth-inning home run against the Chicago Cubs during Game 3 of the 1932 World Series “has been argued about and debunked and reconsidered and investigated for almost a century,” Joe Posnanski wrote in 2023’s bestselling Why We Love Baseball. The Called Shot, as it’s been known ever since Babe’s swing met Cubs pitcher Charlie Root’s pitch that first day of October in Chicago – three little words about which endless stories have been told ever since.

To that legend, Heritage Auctions proudly offers another chapter: The New York Yankees road gray jersey Ruth wore that brilliantly bright Saturday in Chicago will be a centerpiece of the Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction from Aug. 23-25. The jersey, bearing Ruth’s No. 3, has been photomatched to Game 3 of the 1932 World Series.

The jersey is twice authenticated, including by MeiGray Authenticated, which says the jersey was matched using two photos from Getty Images and a third from The Chicago Daily News showing Ruth, Lou Gehrig and manager Joe McCarthy in the dugout. Ruth gifted the jersey to a Florida man following a round of golf, where it remained until the man’s daughter auctioned it nearly two decades ago. It has only recently been photomatched.

“Ruth’s World Series jersey is the most significant piece of American sports memorabilia to be offered at auction in decades,” says Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. “Given its history, its mythology, we expect that when the final bid is placed, it will hold the record as the most expensive sports collectible ever to cross the auction block.”

For now, at least, that record belongs to another Yankees legend, Mickey Mantle, whose 1952 Topps card graded Mint+ 9.5 by Sportscard Guaranty Corporation sold for $12.6 million at Heritage in August 2022.

History doesn’t often talk about the fact Ruth hit two home runs in that World Series skirmish, the first coming in the initial frame after Ruth, with a two-ball count, taunted Cubs pitcher Charlie Root by demanding he throw him strikes. Cubs fans and players were already giving Ruth hell as lemons flew from the stands and insults streamed from the dugout. Ruth homered to right center with the next pitch.

“The boos for Ruth as he rounded the bases were loud and even ominous,” Posnanski writes. “Ruth luxuriated in them. That’s not the Called Shot. Not yet.”

That moment in the fifth inning when Ruth gestured toward something or someone – perhaps the Chicago Cubs’ dugout or pitcher Charlie Root or the center field flagpole – has been endlessly celebrated, imitated and replicated over the last 92 years. That home run, which came on a two-strike count, has been depicted in paintings, exaggerated in movies and parroted by anyone who’s ever played beer-league ball on a rec-league field. Those three little words, The Called Shot, will live so long as there’s someone left to tell stories about the day Ruth smashed a baseball farther than anyone had ever before hit a baseball at Wrigley Field.

As Posnanski points out, Ruth had called a few shots before, including once as a promise to a young man in a hospital and once as a response to jeering Cubs fans in the 1918 World Series, when Ruth was still throwing baseballs for Boston. The man hit 714 home runs during his 22 seasons in the sun. Most would inevitably wind up as footnotes in a historic career. Some have great stories. But only one is the final World Series home run of his career and the stuff of which myth was made.

Chris Ivy
Director of Sports Auctions
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1319 or email at CIvy@HA.com

Derek Grady
VP of Sports Auctions
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1975 or email at DerekG@HA.com

Joe Orlando
Executive Vice President, Sports
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1799 or email at JoeO@HA.com

Rob Rosen
VP of Sports Auctions
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1767 or email at RRosen@HA.com

Dan Imler
VP of Sports Auctions
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1787 or email at DanI@HA.com

Chris Nerat
Consignment Director – Sports
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1615 or email at ChrisN@HA.com

Peter Calderon
Consignment Director – Sports
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1789 or email at PeterC@HA.com

Tony Giese
Consignment Director – Sports
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1997 or email at TonyG@HA.com

Jason Simmons
Consignment Director – Sports
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1652 or email at JasonS@HA.com

Lee Iskowitz
Consignment Director – Sports
at 800 872-6467 ext. 1601 or email at Leei@HA.com

Jason Simonds
Consignment Director – Sports: New York
at 800 872-6467 ext. 3002 or email at JSimonds@HA.com

Jonathan Fuld
Consignment Director – Sports: Chicago
at 800 872-6467 ext. 3405 or email at JonathanF@HA.com

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