The best Xmas present for Yankees... Babe Ruth arrives from the Red Sox

Boxing day marks the 91st anniversary of one of the most important trades in baseball history: on December 26 1919 the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000. It could be described as the best Christmas present Yankees fans ever got.

The trade sparked Ruth's transition from a pitcher to a power-hitting outfielder and the rest, as they say, is history. He went on to be acclaimed as the greatest player of all time and his high-scoring style is recognised as one of the major influences behind the games rise to popularity in the 1920s.

For collectors, his stature in the game and legacy as an icon of American culture mean that his memorabilia is prized above that of any other player.

The contract that took him to New York has been described as "one of the most important documents is sports history", and in 2005 it sold at auction for $996,000. That this is the kind of price usually reserved for rare presidential documents shows how highly Ruth is regarded in American cultural history.

Bats used by the Ruth have proven even more popular on the market. In 2004 his famous 'Louisville Slugger' bat, used to hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923, sold for an enormous $1.26m. And the ball he hit for his record-breaking 700th home run sold in 2006 for $805,000, making it the second-most expensive baseball in history.

 

Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth's autograph are a more affordable way to
invest in his legacy
But memorabilia connected to Babe Ruth comes in all different shapes and sizes, and for entry-level investors there are several pieces with a more affordable price tag. His autographs can often sell for around $12,000, and are constantly appreciating in value.

In recent years the baseball memorabilia market has become a $100 million dollar industry, and there are few safer bets than items connected to Babe Ruth. If you're looking to invest in sports memorabilia, the 'Sultan of Swing' is always a sure thing.

 

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