(credit: Yahoo Sports)
There are people who are avid fans and collectors of sports memorabilia, and then there are collectors of fine artwork.
This, happens to be fine art.
According to Yahoo.com “the memorabilia auction house Lelands.com bid a record-breaking $4,415,658 for the earliest jersey worn by Babe Ruth known to still exist, a circa 1920 New York Yankees road model he wore in his first season after coming over from the Red Sox. The jersey’s price surpassed the $4,338,500 paid in 2010 for Dr. James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball — called the “Bible of Basketball” — making Ruth’s the most expensive sports memorabilia in history. SCP Auctions, which ran the sale, had been speculating it would go for at least $1 million.”
I have loved sports all my life, and baseball happens to be my favorite.
I have collected memorabilia all my life and this doesn’t seem to fit in to that model. It’s not a Griffey Jr. rookie card, or a trifold of Christy Matthewson, or the most notable collectable of all-time, Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card. It’s a game-worn jersey of arguably the best baseball player of all time.
There are so many things we speculate about the jersey and what Ruth may have been doing during that time. It all comes with the $4 million price tag. Some see it as an overpriced piece of clothing. I see it as something different. More than a piece of clothing or a collectible.
I see the jersey as a work of art. It’s something that cannot and will not be replicated. It is an artifact of an era featuring the legends of a far-gone time. A Babe Ruth game-worn jersey is like Picasso creating a masterpiece that only happens once in a century.
It’s not a Picasso, but it sure is a masterpiece.