The bat Babe Ruth used to smack his 500th home run is expected to fetch upwards of $1 million when it goes up on the auction block 75 years after the historic blast. The Louisville Slugger still has marks where the Babes bat hit the ball, and where he knocked mud off his cleats before slugging the historic blast in Clevelands League Park in 1929.
The Yankees legend gave the bat to buddy Jim Rice, the former mayor of Suffern in Rockland County, in the mid-1940s and it sat in the corner behind the family TV for years, Rices son said. Terry Rice was born two years after Ruth died in 1948 but grew up knowing the bat was a cherished heirloom. It was always there, he said. It was part of life. No one said I could touch it. I never took it out and played baseball with it. For an inanimate object, its beautiful, he added. Its in perfect condition.
His father died in 1983 and passed on the bat to his wife. When she died in 1997 it fell to Terry Rice as a family heirloom and he stashed it in a closet. But it made him a nervous wreck. You couldnt leave it out, Terry Rice said. I wasnt enjoying it. It got to the point where we were worried about it.
So, he talked his two older sisters to sign off on the sale and made a deal to peddle the bat at auction where its expected to hit it out of the park. The Rice siblings, who will split the proceeds for the bat, have other mementos from the Babe, including an autographed ball and a signed photo. Bidding begins on Nov. 27 and closed on Dec. 14 at scpauctions.com.
--If you had inherited this, would you sell it? Its great to have, but so is a million dollars even split three ways.