Passionate fandom is a given in almost any sport, which is why sports memorabilia is a booming business. Owning a jersey, a baseball card, a game ball, or a trophy is like owning a piece of history, being part of iconic moments in sports that may have changed the course of a game or brought home a winning championship. The rarer or more significant the item, the more likely it will be to command a jaw-dropping price. Here are ten of the most expensive items of sports memorabilia (so far!) that have been sold:
$956,000 – Soccer – Football Association Challenge Cup: The FA Cup is the world’s oldest soccer competition, started in 1871. The trophy auctioned off in 2005, the oldest of the four FA Cups that have ever been made, was given to the winning team from 1896 to 1910.
$996,000 – Baseball – Babe Ruth’s 1920 Yankees Contract: While no-one is exactly sure why the Boston Red Sox chose to sell Babe Ruth’s contract to the Yankees in 1920, there is no doubt that the move launched the Yankees to greatness. This contract marked the beginning of an era of success for both Babe Ruth and his new team.
$1.1 million – Boxing – Muhammad Ali’s 1965 Floyd Patterson Fight Gloves: Even for those who don’t follow boxing, Muhammad Ali is one of the most recognizable sports figures of all time. These gloves, auctioned on Ali’s seventieth birthday, were from a fight he won against Floyd Patterson by technical knockout in the twelfth round in 1965.
$1.4 million – Soccer – Sheffield Football Club Rules, Regulations, and Laws: Auctioned in 2011 to raise money for the club, this pamphlet is believed to be one of the earliest football instruction pamphlets.
$1.265 million – Baseball – Babe Ruth 1923 First Yankee Stadium Home Run Bat: Auctioned in 2004, this bat is the most expensive ever sold, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
$1.275 million – Hockey – Paul Henderson 1972 Jersey: Paul Henderson, the Canadian hockey legend, wore this jersey in the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the USSR. Henderson scored the series-winning goal for the Canadians in the eighth game.
$3 million – Baseball – Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run Ball: In 1988, Mark McGwire smashed the previous home-run record for a single season by nine runs. This ball, driven to deep left field in his seventieth home run of the season, brought a record price at auction.
$3.12 million – Baseball – Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card: With only 57 in existence, Honus Wagner’s baseball card has sold for staggering prices more than once. The most recent sale of one, in 2016, exceeded the previous record price for one of these cards by over $300,000.
$4.3 million – Basketball – James Naismith’s 1891 Rules of Basketball: Unlike many sports whose origins are disputed, basketball is considered the creation of James Naismith, who came up with it as a game to be played indoors during cold northern winter months. This original document laid out thirteen rules that established the basics of the sport.
$4.415 million – Baseball – Babe Ruth 1920 Jersey: The most expensive piece of sports memorabilia sold to date is Babe Ruth’s earliest known Yankees jersey, from the 1920 season when he made 158 runs and 54 home runs for his new team.
Of course, you don’t have to be a millionaire to own part of the game you love. AuctionKing.com offers a constantly updated selection of authenticated sports memorabilia at bids starting as low as $1. Register today for a free online account to get started!