BOSTON (CBS) — People find all kinds of interesting things in their basement, but one Massachusetts family just outside of Boston may have hit a home run with their spring cleaning.
In their basement was a collection of game-used baseball bats by the Boston Red Sox which date back to the late 1910s. One of them in particular caught their eye — the one with “Ruth” in block letters inscribed on the barrel.
Yes, sitting in that collection of bats was a very rare, 100-year-old Babe Ruth baseball bat used during his days with the Red Sox.
And that bat is now set to hit the auction block. Goldin Auctions will host the auction, which will open Monday, June 16. The starting bid is $50,000.
The bat was authenticated and confirmed to be one used by “The Great Bambino” sometime between 1916 and 1918. There are many clues that point to that period, according to Goldin:
This awe-inspiring bat has several distinctions that reveal it to be a Babe Ruth 1916-18 bat. The first is Ruth’s stamped name. That the bat has been personalized at the factory with a simple “RUTH” in block letters allows us to date this bat as being made before July, 1918. On the 9th of that month, Babe Ruth signed his first contract with the Kentucky company and every bat subsequently manufactured for him featured a facsimile signature of one style or another on the barrel. The Hillerich & Bradsby stamped center brand lets us further narrow down the age. The company applied their “dash-dot-dash” style center brand which was first used in 1916. The third piece of evidence that dates this bat to the 1916-18 period is its specifications: the weight of 40.5 ounces and 35.75″ length correspond with the existing specifications found on very early Ruth bats.
They also add that the bat has cleat imprints on the barrel, and Ruth was always using the barrel of his bat to clean his spikes.
It’s a very cool and rare discovery, but if you want to take some cuts with the same bat once used by “The Sultan Of Swat,” it will cost you. Goldin says the bat is expected to sell in the $350,000-$500,000 range.
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