Years before Babe Ruth became the biggest star in big-league baseball, he played catcher at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore. Now, the catcher’s mitt he wore at the school is up for auction.
The New York Post reports that Goldin Auctions is taking online bids — the minimum is $125,000 — ahead of a final live auction set for April 30 at the NYY Steakhouse on West 51st Street. Said company President Ken Goldin: “I’d be shocked if it goes for under $500,000.” But the report notes that Goldin is hoping for a bid that tops $1 million.
“After Ruth used it at St. Mary’s, he took it on a minor-league assignment in Providence, R.I., and realized he wouldn’t need it anymore,” the Post notes. “That’s when he befriended young local soda jerk Edward Petschke and gave it to him in 1914. Petschke’s descendants have owned it ever since.”
The glove, an artifact of a relatively undocumented phase of Ruth’s career, has been on display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore since 1993.