Babe Ruth’s contract with the Boston Red Sox from 1918 just sold for $1.02 million, the highest price paid for a sports contract, at an auction Saturday, July 12, 2014. According to Goldin Auctions, the price of $1.02 million broke the record of $996,000, which was paid in 2005 for the document that sent Ruth to the Yankees. The contract was signed by Ruth, American League president Ban Johnson and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, who famously agreed to sell Ruth to the New York Yankees in December 1919. The person who bought the contract wished to remain anonymous.
A Babe Ruth bat from his early career sold for $215,000 and a signed ball sold for $96,000, but one of the most intriguing items up for auction — the very first home run ball that Ruth hit at Yankee Stadium — failed to sell.
Other Yankees items sold in the auction included a glove believed to have been used by Mickey Mantle in the mid-1960s ($180,000), a full set of ticket stubs from the clinching game of each of the Yankees’ 27 championships ($58,000), and the bullpen phone used in 2013, from which came many calls for Mariano Rivera in his final season ($5,000).
Two notable championship rings sold in the auction: a Super Bowl VII ring from the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ perfect season presented to a part-owner’s son ($19,000), and the Super Bowl XXXV Ravens ring given to backup quarterback Tony Banks, which went for $36,000.