New York Yankees: Babe Ruth 500th home run bat sells for over $1 million

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 25: A statue of Babe Ruth is seen at the National Baseball Hall of Fame during induction weekend on July 25, 2009 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 25: A statue of Babe Ruth is seen at the National Baseball Hall of Fame during induction weekend on July 25, 2009 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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More than 80 years after he played his last game, New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth still captures the heart and imagination of fans and collectors alike.

Back on August 11, 1929, Babe Ruth did the impossible once again. The New York Yankees superstar continued his historic assault on the home run record books, belting the 500th home run of his career. Considering that no other player had even surpassed the 300 career threshold at the time, Ruth’s accomplishments were all the more impressive.

More than 90 years after that home run, a relic of that time resurfaced. The bat that Ruth used to hit that 500th home run had been gifted to former Suffern New York mayor Jim Ric sometime in the 1940s, and had been a part of the family for over 75 years.

Recently, that bat, which was also autographed by Ruth, came up for auction, fetching a price exceeding $1 million. This was not the most expensive bat that Ruth had used; the bat he was using when he hit the first home run out of Yankee Stadium in 1923 sold for more than $1.3 million back in 2004.

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That 500th home run was a typical blast from Ruth. He was facing Indians pitcher Willis Hudlin, and took his second inning offering deep to right. It sailed completely out of League Park, rolling down Lexington Avenue as a monument to his power. In the end, Hudlin and the Indians had the last laugh, as they took home a 6-5 victory.

Ruth had another typically strong season that year. He produced a .345/.430/.697 batting line, hitting a league leading 46 homers and driving in 154 runs. This was in the middle of a six year run where Ruth led the AL in homers, an impressive run of success in the latter part of his career.

That power, unlike anything else that had been seen in the game at the time, still resonates in the minds of fans and collectors alike. His last name has become an adjective to describe the seemingly impossible, a testament to his enduring popularity and prowess.

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Babe Ruth certainly has not been forgotten in baseball history, nor in the minds of collectors. The former New York Yankees slugger’s bat that he used to hit his 500th career home run has sold, fetching more that $1 million.