The New York Yankees are arguably the greatest professional sports franchise of all time. One would be challenged in trying to make an argument against this. As of 2021, the Yankees have appeared in 40 World Series, and have won 27 of those World Series which blows away all other professional sports teams across the four major professional sports leagues in North America. It's highly likely that no other professional sports team will ever get close to the Yankees number, and the Yankees number of World Series won is only going to continue to grow as the years move along. At the same time, to be at the very top dominating the league for many years now requires a number of moving parts, and one of those things are players that make a huge impact. The history of the franchise is littered with legendary players such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Micky Mantle, Derek Jeter, and countless others. Because of their impact to the game can be measured in numerous ways such as revenue, endorsements, and memorabilia. We've discovered that their jerseys have been sold for amounts we can't even begin to believe. Today we will take a look at the five most expensive Yankees jerseys ever sold:
5. Don Larsen's 1956 "Perfect Game" Jersey - $756,000
In game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Yankee Stadium, Don Larsen became the first pitcher ever to pitch a perfect game in the postseason, leading the Yankees to victory. In that game, Larsen only needed a total of 97 pitches thrown to get the job done, retiring all 27 batters that he faced. He got the final out of the game on a 1-2 pitch that struck out Dale Mitchell to end the game. Yankees legend catcher Yogi Berra caught the game and once the final out was made ran out and hugged Larsen on the mound. On the flip side, to this day, Don Larsen has been the only one to throw the first and only perfect game/ no hitter in the history of the World Series. Larsen's jersey sold for $765K in December of 2012 as Peter Siegel won the bid of the jersey Larsen was auctioning. The reason the jersey was put up for auction because he needed to be able to pay for his grandchildren's education.
4. Babe Ruth's 1934 Road Jersey - $771,000
It should come as no surprise that the Great Bambinos jerseys would make this list. 1934 was Babe Ruth's last season playing for the New York Yankees, and many fans wanted to see him play for the Yankees one last time as he was getting older and his career was coming to an end. Many kids looked up to Ruth and were very inspired by him and wanted to be just like him as a baseball player. He had a very impressive last season with the Yankees in 1934 as well despite his old age, hitting 22 home runs, driving in 84 runs, and having an impressive batting average of .288. Also in 1934, just like Lou Gehrig, Ruth was also on the tour of Japan. During his time overseas Ruth caught grabbed everyone in the crowds attention with his monstrous home runs and making himself into a global legend. Ruth's jersey from this tour was sold for $771,000 by Mastro Auctions in 2005.
3. Babe Ruth's 1932 " Called Shot " Road Jersey - $1 Million
This was truly one of the greatest moments in the history of Major League Baseball, and one of the most famous home runs ever hit. In game 3 of the 1932 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs, Ruth was looking to make a spark for the Yankees when he came to the plate. In the fifth inning at Wrigley Field, Ruth came up to bat and pointed his bat at the center field fence, calling that he'd hit a home run in that exact direction. Moments later, when Ruth had two strikes on him and was down in the count, he proceeds to hit a home run in that exact direction and the baseball proceeded to leave the stadium making it an out of the park home run. It then became known as the " Called Shot", and has been a story that has been passed down to kids in each generation since it took place. The exact jersey that Ruth was wearing during this game was sold for $1 million in 2005 at the Grey Flannel Auctions.
2. Babe Ruth's 1920 Road Jersey - $4.4 Million
1920 was the very first season Babe Ruth spent playing for the New York Yankees after they purchased Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $125,000. After the transaction was made, the Yankees took over paying for Ruth's contract which was $10,000 per year. The Boston Red Sox wanted to trade Ruth because he had temper issues and they just didn't want him on the team anymore, but little did they know the terrible mistake they were about to make. Ruth had a spectacular first campaign with the Yankees as he had a fantastic batting average of .376, hit 54 home runs, which he only had hit 25 the previous year, and he had 137 RBI's to add to his name. Ruth made an immediate impact when he first joined the Yankees and would continue to be one of the more dominating players in the league. The Great Bambino's gray flannel jersey he wore during the 1920 season was sold by Hunt Auctions at Yankee Stadium.
1. Babe Ruth's 1928-1930 Jersey - $5.64 million
The most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold was a jersey that The Great Bambino wore during the years 1928-1930 for the New York Yankees. During these years with the Yankees, Ruth continued to keep hitting towering home runs and continued being one of the leagues super stars and was a major threat to any pitcher he was batting against. Ruth also helped lead the Yankees to win the 1928 World Series championship against the St. Louis Cardinals, were they swept them in four games. The record- breaking jersey was part of a collection that Ruth was also known as, " The Sultan of Swat". The jersey was sold as part of an auction at Yankee Stadium that was sold by Hunt Auctions. The Bambino is still breaking records to this day, and he hasn't even played in a Major League Baseball game since 1935 when he retired with the Boston Braves.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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