It cost the New York Yankees $100,000 to acquire Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in 1919. In 2017, that’s not even enough to afford the piece of paper announcing the move.
The document announcing Ruth’s trade from Boston to New York is up for auction at Lelands.com, and it’s expected to fetch a pretty penny. The last time it was available for purchase, Ruth’s contract sold for $996,000, according to ESPN.
That was back in 2005. Like most pieces of sports memorabilia, the price is only expected to rise now that more time has passed.
The contract, which Lelands is calling the “Most Important Transaction in Sports History,” has obvious appeal. Ruth is not only considered one of the best players of all-time, but the document also has connections to the “Curse of the Bambino.”
Following the trade, the Red Sox failed to win a World Series title for 86 years. During that drought, the Yankees won the World Series 26 times. That led some to speculate the Red Sox were being punished by supernatural forces for getting rid of Ruth. The Red Sox were able to break the curse in 2004.
While Ruth had been an effective player in Boston, he blossomed into a legend with New York. Over 15 years with the Yankees, Ruth hit a robust .349.484/.711, with 659 home runs. Those numbers were virtually unheard of in an era where offense, and especially home runs, happened infrequently.
All of those factors should make the document a sought-after item among collectors. As of this writing, the current bid for the contract is $110,000, higher than what the Yankees paid for Ruth in 1919.
That amount should skyrocket over the next few days. The collector who put the agreement up for auction claims they turned down a $5 million offer for it a few years ago, according to ESPN.
Any wealthy baseball historians, or Yankees fans looking to stick it to their Red Sox friends, can bid on the item until July 1.
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