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.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.