Babe Ruth bat sells at auction for $156,000

Babe Ruth.
Babe Ruth. –Tom Sande/Associated Press

A baseball bat once wielded by Babe Ruth sold for $156,000 Sunday night at an auction.

“When it comes to baseball collectibles, there’s no bigger name than Babe Ruth,’’ said Brian Dwyer, president of the New Jersey-based Robert Edward Auctions, which sold the bat. “When we were given the opportunity to sell a bat that he used, we jumped at it.’’

The 42.9-ounce, 36-inch bat is a Hillerich & Bradsby game-used bat from the 1918-1922 manufacturing period, according to the auction house, which focuses on baseball collectibles. That was special period in Ruth’s career.

“It dates back to a very early period in 1918, which is pretty unique when it comes to bats because it spans his time with both the Red Sox and the Yankees,’’ Dwyer said.

The bat once used by Babe Ruth. —Robert Edward Auctions
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Ruth began playing with the Red Sox in 1914 and was traded to the New York Yankees in the 1919-1920 offseason — the beginning of what many called the Curse of the Bambino, an 84-year World Series drought for the Red Sox.

The auction for the bat, among other baseball collectibles, started on March 6. It ended at 6 p.m. Sunday; another round of bids came in just before midnight from a select group of bidders, Dwyer said.

The winner placed a $130,000 bid at 11:39 p.m., Dwyer said.

With the auction house’s 20 percent premium, that came out to $156,000, he said.

The bat’s condition is “exceptional’’ — a 9 out of 10 — and shows characteristics from Ruth’s playing, Dwyer said.

“It was definitely sought after,’’ Dwyer said. “It was one of the top-viewed items in the auction, so I guess, based on its condition and the years it was used, bidders went for it.’’