Babe Ruth’s old jersey was auctioned off yesterday and sold for a staggering $4.4 million.
Craig Calcaterra wrote about the planned auction back in February, at which point various experts were predicting that the jersey would surpass the $2.8 million price for the famous Honus Wagner baseball card.
According to SCP Auctions the final price for the Ruth jersey was $4,415,658, which makes it the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever. It narrowly surpasses James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball, which sold for $4,338,500 in 2010.
Ruth wore the jersey while playing for the Yankees in 1920, the year after Boston sold him to New York. It had previously been displayed at the The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, but the Associated Press reports that Lelands.com is the new owner and plans to sell the jersey privately.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.