Babe Ruth’s transfer contract realises $2.3m

Babe Ruth’s transfer contract from the Red Sox to the Yankees led an auction at Lelands with a final bid of $2.3m.

The lot was consigned from the collection of actor Charlie Sheen.

Babe Ruth contract

Babe Ruth was the greatest player of his generation

Ruth’s move from Boston to New York in 1919 is a seismic moment in baseball history.

It has to go down as one of the worst decisions ever taken by the management of a sports team.

The Bambino would go on to revolutionise the sport, bringing the crowds in their thousands to the ailing Yankee Stadium.

With his help, the Yankees would dominate baseball for years.  

Sheen acquired the lot for the relatively small sum of $150,000 during the 1990s, resulting in a significant appreciation in value.

Lelands commented in the run-up to the sale: "This is…akin to some of the great documents in the history of our country.

"The Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s Draft of the Gettysburg Address or Albert Einstein's 'Theory of Relativity' Papers."

Three examples of this contract were made, one each for the Yankees, Red Sox and the American League.

This is the Yankees' copy.

By contrast, the one belonging to the Red Sox sold for $996,000 in 2004.

We suspect we may see that one come to auction within the next few months.

The American League version is thought to be hidden away in an archive and is unlikely to appear on the market.

Also auctioning from Sheen's collection at the July 1 sale was Ruth's 1927 World Series ring. It sold for $2.1m. 

A 1920 Babe Ruth Yankees jersey sold for $4.4 million in 2012 - a record for sports memorabilia. 

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