Babe Ruth’s ‘Called Shot’ Yankees Jersey Will Go To Auction, Could Shatter Previous Memorabilia Record

The 15th and final World Series home run of Babe Ruth’s Hall of Fame career is revered more than any of the 14 that came before it for one simple reason: Ruth might have pointed to the spot where he hit the ball during the at-bat.

Amateur film of the moment has been played over the years. It leaves just enough room for dispute whether Ruth was pointing toward the Cubs’ dugout (as catcher Gabby Hartnett claimed) or toward the center-field fence at Wrigley Field — over which Ruth deposited the next pitch from Charlie Root:

Thanks to Ruth himself, the legend of the “called shot” has persisted for another 90 years. So famous is the moment that the New York Yankees uniform Ruth was wearing on Oct. 1, 1932 will be among the items featured at a sports memorabilia auction in August, Heritage Auctions announced Tuesday.

According to Heritage’s press release, “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.”

Chris Ivy, the director of sports auctions at Heritage, postulated that the jersey will break the record as the most expensive sports collectible “ever to cross the auction block.” That record is currently held by a 1952 Topps baseball card featuring New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle.

New York Yankees Babe Ruth Called Shot
Legendary American baseball player Babe Ruth (1895 – 1948) of the New York Yankees hits a home run in the third game of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Chicago, October…

B. Bennett/Getty Images

When it was last auctioned, the Ruth jersey could not be authenticated as the one he wore when he called his shot. According to ESPN, “[The jersey] sold for $940,000 in 2005 with Grey Flannel Auctions. At that time, it was dated to the 1932 season and purported to be from that year’s series. But the jersey has now been photo-matched by MeiGray Authenticated as the one Ruth wore in Game 3.”

The Yankees swept the 1932 World Series from the Cubs in four games. Ruth’s two home runs in Game 3 were both pivotal to the Yankees’ 7-5 win. The next day, Ruth went 1-for-5 in Game 4. It would be the final World Series game of Ruth’s Hall of Fame career.

Ruth’s 714 career regular-season home runs stood as the major league record until it was broken by Hank Aaron in 1974.