Babe Ruth Game-Used Glove Brings $1.5 Million


A game-used glove worn by Babe Ruth set a record for the most ever paid for a baseball glove, bringing $1.53 million in auction.

The winning bidder was not revealed.

The white leather glove was sold Saturday, Nov. 12, as part of the 19th Annual Louisville Slugger Museum Live Auction, handled by Hunt Auctions. According to Hunt, the glove was gifted to former player Jimmy Austin – known by millions as the third baseman in the famous Charles Conlon photo of Ty Cobb sliding into third base, with Austin lifting his left leg to avoid Cobb’s feet. Austin broke in with and played for the Yankees (then known as the Highlanders) and the St. Louis Browns from 1909-29 and was a friend of The Bambino.

According to Austin, he had asked Ruth if he had an old glove he didn’t want anymore. Ruth said he did, and proceeded to present this one to him, a glove used by the Sultan of Swat during the Yankees’ slugging era of the late 1920s. The glove remained with the Austin family after Jimmy passed away in 1965.

Hunt Auctions provided a 1964 audio clip of Austin being interviewed by author Lawrence Ritter for what would be his seminary work in 1966, The Glory of Their Times. In that clip, Austin tells Ritter of Ruth giving him the glove and Ritter marvels at the piece of history laying on a table in front of him.

Hunt also provided photographic evidence of Ruth wearing the very same glove, with specific markings highlighted.