An original team photo of the 1914 Baltimore Orioles, featuring Babe Ruth, sold for a record $190,373 at the Lelands Spring Classic Auction.
The sale of the Ruth photo shattered the previous record price for a sports photo sold at auction: $77,098 for an original image of Charles Conlon's iconic Ty Cobb sliding photo taken at Hilltop Park in New York in 1910.
According to Lelands, it is the only original image of Ruth in an Orioles uniform that the auction house has ever handled. It is marked "Baltimore International 1914” in dark blue fountain ink. Bidding was held from May 7 to June 7.
Then an unknown 19-year-old rookie pitcher with the minor league Orioles, Ruth, who was attending the St. Mary's Industrial Home for Boys in West Baltimore, won 14 games by midseason before being sold to the Boston Red Sox.
Among the other auction highlights were: a baseball signed by 11 of Major League Baseball's original Hall of Fame inductees in 1939, which fetched $236,389; a Bobby Orr circa 1972 Boston Bruins game-worn jersey that went for $113,924; and a jersey worn by former Knicks star Walt Frazier in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, which netted $100,081.
The Hall of Fame baseball was one of 42 pieces consigned to the auction by the family of Eddie Rommel, a star pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1920s and early 1930s, and later an American League umpire. The collection also featured a 1924 Yankees team signed baseball featuring rookie Lou Gehrig ($71,508), a 1924 Washington Senators world champion team signed baseball ($54,301), and a 1924 Cleveland Indians team signed baseball ($48,178).
Pittsburgh Steelers game-worn jerseys directly from the team's archive were also sold, including a 1982 Jack Lambert jersey ($50,131). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the jerseys will be donated to the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research.
Also auctioned was the last jersey worn in a game by Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, in the 1962 Coaches All-America Game. It sold for $20,713.