Christie's to offer a private collection of important baseball memorabilia

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Christie's to offer a private collection of important baseball memorabilia
The collection has been assembled over the last 25 years, and features iconic players, teams, and moments in the history of Major League Baseball with specific focus on items of scarcity. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s and Hunt Auctions announce a historic offering from a single owner private collection of baseball memorabilia and trading cards entitled “Extra Innings: A Private Collection of Important Baseball Memorabilia.” A live sale will take place on October 7 at Christie’s Rockefeller Galleries in New York, and an online sale will run from September 24 through October 8. The collection has been assembled over the last 25 years, and features iconic players, teams, and moments in the history of Major League Baseball with specific focus on items of scarcity. Highlights of the auction include a Babe Ruth professional model hat worn during his 1927-28 Bustin Babes barnstorming Tour ($200,000-$400,000) and an important Babe Ruth Professional Model Baseball Bat with Eight Home Run Notches c.1928-29 ($500,000-$1,000,000).

“This particular private collection has remained largely unknown within the industry for over 25 years,” stated David Hunt, President, Hunt Auctions. “The collection was assembled over 15-20 years ago and is noted as one of the great remaining private archives of its type in the hobby. A great number of the items within the collection are being unveiled to the public for the very first time including several which are the finest known examples of their medium. Hunt Auctions is thrilled to once again partner with Christie’s to present this iconic offering of historic baseball artifacts.”

As is often the case within the sports memorabilia world, the Bambino will be the star of the show. Among the highlights of the Extra Innings Collection is a very rare babe Ruth professional model hat worn during his 1927-28 “Bustin Babes” Barnstorming Tour. In 1927, a three week barnstorming tour of 21 cities was organized for sluggers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig following what many consider to be the finest season ever in MLB history for the New York Yankees. The tour promoted "a rivalry between Babe and Gehrig" equal to the World Series itself and fans flocked to local towns and stadiums to see the two star players along with local teams playing in various barnstorming games. Artifacts of significance from the Bustin Babes and Larrupin Lous Tour are exceedingly scarce and the present hat is in outstanding original condition and one of the more elite surviving pieces that exists from this historic tour.

Another very important piece within the collection is a Babe Ruth professional model baseball bat with Eight Home Run Notches c.1928-29. This bat is incredibly rare; two of the five bats in existence with home run notches are held within public institutions. In "Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball" published in 1928, the Bambino explains, "Last season I started a stunt which gave the boys quite a laugh for a long time. I started "notching" my bats for home runs, like the old gunmen used to notch their guns when they killed a man. Every time I would hit a home run I would cut a notch in the bat handle of the club I had used.” The bat measures 35" in length and weighs 35.4 ounces both which are consistent with ordered models of the period.

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