Babe Ruth’s 1934 Japan tour baseball cap sells for $303,277

Babe Ruth cap game-used during the historic 1934 US All-Star Tour of Japan, $303,277. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Babe Ruth cap game-used during the historic 1934 US All-Star Tour of Japan, $303,277. Grey Flannel Auctions image

WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – A new chapter was added to the legend of Babe Ruth during the early morning hours of Dec. 18. Grey Flannel Auctions sold the baseball cap the immortal slugger wore during the historic 1934 US All-Star Tour of Japan for $303,277.

The game-used navy blue cap emblazoned “US” was acquired from the Ruth family more than 30 years ago and had remained in private hands from that day forward. It is the only known Ruth cap from the American team’s barnstorming tour of 18 Japanese cities.

“Nearly half a million Japanese fans lined the streets of Tokyo to view the team motorcade and welcome Babe Ruth, who rode through the Ginza district in an open-top limousine. The tour was a major news event and received press coverage worldwide,” said Richard E. Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions.

The Ruth cap opened for bidding in late November, at $50,000, but competition really heated up during the final 24 hours of the Dec. 17 absentee, phone and Internet auction. The winning bid of $303,277 was placed at 12:52 Eastern Time on the morning of Dec. 18 by a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

Another high-profile cap, game-worn by Joe DiMaggio, dated to around 1937, when the great Yankee Clipper was still a rookie. Rare and in beautiful, all-original condition, the cap opened for bidding at $25,000 and eventually reached $151,652.

From the same general era, a 1932 baseball signed by the New York Yankees – with 23 signatures, including those of Ruth, Lou Gehrig and seven other Hall of Famers – was a high flier at $115,242.

Other auction highlights included a 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers heavyweight satin jacket that was owned and worn by Roy Campanella, $71,554; and a circa-1980s Philadelphia 76ers road uniform game-worn by Julius “Dr. J” Erving, $44,428.

In total, Grey Flannel’s Holiday Auction 2014 grossed $2,051,073, inclusive of a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Visit Grey Flannel Auctions online at www.greyflannelauctions.com. To contact Grey Flannel call 631-288-7800, ext. 223; or email info@greyflannelauctions.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Babe Ruth cap game-used during the historic 1934 US All-Star Tour of Japan, $303,277. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Babe Ruth cap game-used during the historic 1934 US All-Star Tour of Japan, $303,277. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Baseball signed by 23 of the 1932 New York Yankees, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other Hall of Famers, $115,242. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Baseball signed by 23 of the 1932 New York Yankees, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other Hall of Famers, $115,242. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Circa 1980s Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving Philadelphia 76ers game-worn uniform, $44,428. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Circa 1980s Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving Philadelphia 76ers game-worn uniform, $44,428. Grey Flannel Auctions image

1950s Los Angeles Dodgers satin jacket owned and worn by Roy Campanella, $71,554. Grey Flannel Auctions image

1950s Los Angeles Dodgers satin jacket owned and worn by Roy Campanella, $71,554. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Joe DiMaggio game-used circa-1937 rookie-era Yankees cap with stitching inside sweatband that says ‘7 J. DiMaggio,’ $151,652. Grey Flannel Auctions image

Joe DiMaggio game-used circa-1937 rookie-era Yankees cap with stitching inside sweatband that says ‘7 J. DiMaggio,’ $151,652. Grey Flannel Auctions image