Isn’t it quite an impressive matter that more than fifty or hundred-year-old objects can claim a huge amount of money in return? If you do not believe or you can not, know that this is authentic. Some of the baseball bats in history were sold at such a ridiculous price tag that is hard to acknowledge.
Baseball is known as a very popular and well-known sport in the world. It has been played for so many years throughout history. It has produced so many legends and outstanding players so far. Because of their tremendous performance in games, the objects including bats, balls, and jerseys related to them have been praised among the general public. As a consequence, some baseball bats used by legendary players have been in high demand for collectors.
Thus, some baseball bats were auctioned and sold at an outrageous amount of cost. Therefore, let’s start by describing some of the wonderful, historical and expensive baseball bats in history.
Most Expensive Baseball Bats
11. Mickey Mantle’s All-Star Home Run Bat – $430,200
10. 1918 Babe Ruth’s First Hillerich & Bradsby Bat – $537,750
9. 1927-28 Babe Ruth bat – $591,000
8. 1919 ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson bat – $605,000
7. 1927 Babe Ruth bat – $660,000
6. 1921 Babe Ruth bat – $930,000
5. 1911 ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson (Rookie Year) bat – $956,000
4. 1929 Babe Ruth Game-used bat – $1 million
3. 1922 Lou Gehrig Game-used bat – $1.03 million
2. 1922 Ty Cobb Game-used bat – $1.1 million
1. 1923 Babe Ruth’s First Baseball bat – $1.3 million
1956 Mickey Mantle’s All-Star Home Run bat
The first expensive baseball bat is Mickey Mantle’s All-Star Home Run bat. The bat was used by Mickey Mantle in 1956 when he achieved the fame of ‘Triple Crown’ for his outstanding performance. Appointed on 26 February 1956 for the World Series Champion New York Yankees team, the bat was used by Mickey Mantle and his fellows. At that time, it was signed by all-stars of the team.
Now, the bat is one of the most precious pieces of Mickey Mantle’s personal arsenal from his most memorable season. Gradually, the bat has become so adorable as it received the PSA/DNA GU 10 rating. Only three bats have been recorded to exist in the world.
However, this home run bat used in the 1956 All-Star game at Griffith Stadium brought a huge sum of money at an auction in February of 2014. It was estimated at $430,200 for its rarity. And that one was the most valuable Mickey Mantle memorabilia ever sold at auction.
1918 Babe Ruth’s First Hillerich & Bradsby Bat
Babe Ruth, the most famous and iconic player in baseball history, used this bat in 1918 when he was a Red Sox player. After the agreement with the league as a professional player, Ruth got this bat for the season.
This is a Hillerich & Bradsby bat that is considered to imitate other bats that Ruth would use later in his career. The bat was brought to the Louisville Slugger factory in Kentucky. And there, it was used as a template for future Ruth bats.
In 2009, at the Heritage Auction Galleries’ October 1-2 Signature sports memorabilia auction, the bat realized the second position to summit the half-million-dollar mark. It was sold for $537,750 being one of the most expensive baseball bats in history.
1927-28 Babe Ruth bat
This bat was also used by Babe Ruth in the season of the World Series Championship in 1927-28. Even, it was one of the most favorite bats of Ruth used by him.
This particular bat is mostly famous for so many reasons. Specifically, it was the bat by which Babe Ruth broke records hitting 60 home runs in one particular season. Moreover, the combination of ideal usage qualities and excellent vault mark on the tag are the other features of the bat. This R34 vault mark signifies the bat as the model bat that was specially ordered by Ruth himself.
After the completion of the series, the bat returned to the factory and got an aesthetic quality by extra artwork. As a result, it has been recognized as a cornerstone in the finest baseball memorabilia collection in the world.
In terms of price, it was sold at an SCP Auction in 2012 for a record price tag of $591,000.
1919 ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson bat
Now, it is a bat used by Joe Jackson who was banished from baseball accusing something unpleasant during the 1919 World Series Championship. Nonetheless, he is one of the prominent figures with the third-highest career batting average in Major League Baseball history. Unfortunately, he along with seven fellows was accused of Black Sox Scandal that brought him notorious fame.
However, what made the bat so popular and renowned is its scarcity. Only a few of them were produced and they were not available for the general public. Comes with the signature of Jackson, the bat was used by him when he played for the Chicago White Sox and quite possibly again during his post banishment barnstorming games.
Concerning major aspects, the bat was sold at a high price at Hunt auction house in February 2015. The price was $605,000.
1927 Babe Ruth bat
Another baseball bat of Babe Ruth, this one is also a creation of 1927. The surprising matter is that this bat was also another one when Babe Ruth broke the record of making 60 runs in the season. Although his 60 home runs is no longer a record, it is still considered as a legendary performance and the milestone numbers by which all power hitters are judged.
The bat was ordered between May and September of 1927. The left barrel decorated in the green of that bat matches Ruth’s label-down and left-handed swing. The right barrel is printed with ‘To Joe E. Brown From Babe Ruth’ in black fountain pen. Joe E. Brown was a good friend of Ruth who was a nationally renowned actor and comedian.
Now, this bat is one of the most significant pieces of baseball memorabilia. In the Heritage Auctions of May 18, 2018, the bat was auctioned at $660,000.
1921 Babe Ruth bat
At this time, it is also a Babe Ruth bat used in 1921. At that time, Ruth was in his second year with the New York Yankees. In that season of September 2021, he scored 52 home runs against his former team, the Boston Red Sox. Later, the bat was awarded to a contest-winning amateur player.
Weighing three pounds, the bat is heavier than many other bats. Besides, it contains green streaks, right and left barrels, and it presents the signature model of Hillerich & Bradsby R2.
In terms of price, it is one of the most high-priced baseball bats. After almost 100 years, the bat was sold for $930,000 at Heritage Auction in May 2020.
1911 ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson (Rookie Year) bat
As Joe Jackson was banished from baseball, his notorious name is still remembered for his legendary performance. And only for this scandal, the baseball memorabilia related to Joe Jack is in high demand and it adds a great appeal to collectors.
However, this particular bat is a rookie season game-used, specifically, Jackson’s inaugural season when he made a historical batting average record for a rookie.
Characterized as tremendous and significant, the bat is graded PSA/DNA GU 9. And it is still one of the most valuable pieces of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Even, it is, probably, the only factory documented Joe Jackson bat in existence as being game-used by him during his Major League career.
This bat of legend Shoeless Joe Jackson formed a new house record at Heritage Auctions in February 2014. It was estimated at $500,000 and sold at $956,000 making a record in that certain auction.
1929 Babe Ruth Game-used bat
It is a wonderful fact for baseball memorabilia collectors that Babe Ruth’s game-used bats and uniforms are the ‘Holy Grails’ for them. Consequently, this bat is a sought-after one of baseball memorabilia.
The year 1929 is a remarkable year for Babe Ruth and in baseball history, too. In that particular year, Babe Ruth became the first man in baseball history who hit 500 career home runs in Major League Baseball. He made this record in a game against the Cleveland Indians at League Park.
In the 1940s, Ruth gifted this bat to his intimate friend Jim Rice and the bat was preserved by the Rice family for almost 75 years until it gets an exhibition at SCP Auctions in 2019. Welcomed as a monumental discovery in the field of sports memorabilia, the bat is graded PSA/DNA GU 10 for its condition and authenticity. As a result, in that specific auction, the bat realized a price tag of more than $1 million.
1922-23 Lou Gehrig Game-used bat
The third most expensive baseball bat is a 1922 bat used by Lou Gehrig, another legendary baseball player when he played for the New York Yankees. By this bat, he hit his first 493 home runs in the 1923 World Championship team.
When Gehrig joined the Yankees in 1924, he sent the bat back to the makers of Louisville Slugger, H&B, and requested them to make his bats exactly like it and to keep it as a model. The company dated April 22, 1925, on the bat.
Now, this is one of the rarest baseball bats that Heritage has ever had the opportunity to present such kind of valuable pieces. Hence, in Heritage Auction at Dallas auction house in February 2020, the estimated price of the bat was $950,000. But it didn’t receive the reserve. Later, a private buyer purchased the bat after the auction at nearly $1,03 million.
1922 Ty Cobb Game-used bat
One of the earliest stars of baseball, Ty Cobb is still recognized as a celebrated player who won various championships throughout his career. He averaged .366, had more than 4000 hits, and almost 2000 runs over his 24 seasons career.
Henceforth, this certain bat was used by Cobb for seven different seasons including 1922 when he hit 401 and 1928, which was the last season of his career. And for this reason, the bat carries a hand-written note by Ty Cobb which is ‘the last year of my baseball career’.
According to TMZ Sports, the bat contains cleat marks and tobacco juice stains. Because of the integrity and rarity, it is certified and graded by PSA and has a GU 10 score that is the highest grade in this case.
Therefore, the value of this bat of Ty Cobb is much more elevated. Nearly a hundred years later, the bat was sold for a whopping $1.1 million in a private sale in early 2021. Thus, it is the second most expensive baseball bat in history.
1923 Babe Ruth’s First Baseball bat
At the right moment, it is the most expensive baseball bat in history. And that is also a bat used by Babe Ruth, the legend. With this bat, Ruth hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium during the opening day 18 April 1923 in New York. Making the first home run is still considered one of the most significant events in American sporting history.
After the use of Ruth, the bat was awarded to the winner of a high school hitting competition in 1923. The winner’s name was Victor Orsatti. Ruth wrote on the surface of the bat, ‘To the Boy Home Run King of Los Angeles ‘Babe’ Ruth, N.Y. May 7, 1923.’
When Orsatti died in the 1980s, the bat was gone to his caretaker. And the caretaker tried to sell it. Finally, after 80 years of hiding, this historical and masterpiece bat was shown at the Sotheby’s New York auction to be sold in December 2004. It was sold for almost $1.3 million at that auction purchased by Mastronet Inc., a Chicago-based sports and memorabilia company on behalf of an anonymous collector.
Thus, it made history as it was the first baseball bat that reached the unimaginable milestone of a $1 million price tag. So far, this bat is the most expensive baseball bat in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1: Why are baseball bats so expensive?
If you carefully read the article, you can notice that all the expensive baseball bats were used almost a hundred years ago. That means none of them are no longer in use or they are not in a condition to play with them. So, there are some reasons for which these ancient bats are very expensive. The first and foremost reason is the historical value of these bats. In general, old things or objects are at the apex of the collector’s choice. Besides, being old, the bats are very rare and it is difficult to buy them easily. Moreover, these bats were used by world-famous and legendary baseball players. Because of this particular aspect, the demand and value of these bats have increased dramatically.
Q2: Are expensive baseball bats worth it?
These expensive baseball bats are pieces of baseball memorabilia. These are purchased by elegant collectors who love to collect historical objects just to satisfy their minds or out of curiosity. So, it is a complicated matter to explain whether these bats are worth the money or not. Because love and feelings do not have any explanation. Even if the bats are not worth the money, these remain the most valuable pieces of past and legendary figures in the history of the sport.
Well, these are the most expensive bats in baseball history that were sold at auction or any other private sale. From so many expensive bats, I’ve included some of the very valuable, precious, and historical ones which have been celebrated and renowned widely. You may have been surprised that most of them are used by Babe Ruth, the mythical figure in this regard. However, these bats are truly a name of wonder as their price is completely incredible.
About Dawson Kutch
Dawson Kutch is a born and raised Alaskan who loves the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Kutch has been an avid hunter and fisher his entire life, and takes great pride in providing for himself and his family. While he enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, Kutch also has a passion for fashion and loves to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In his free time, Kutch enjoys spending time with his wife and one young daughter. He is always looking to learn more and better himself, both as a writer and as a person.