The Babe’s 1923 World Series watch is for sale
- Updated: February 12, 2014
Babe Ruth’s 1923 World Series pocket watch – which was awarded to all the championship players, is to be auctioned in New York. The watch was thought to be lost for decades, but it’s been found and is expected to bring $750,000 or more.
The Babe batted .368 and hit three home runs during that year’s World Series – one which saw the Yankees winning after beating rivals the New York Giants over six games.
Babe’s pocket watch is a pentagonal gold timepiece – and will be auctioned off at New York’s Heritage Auctions on 22nd February.
It’s particularly interesting as the year marked the beginning of what was to become one of the most dominant dynasties in any U.S. sport. It fundamentally altered baseball and its culture- and of course Babe Ruth was and is the most famous player the sport has ever seen – so it’s more than just a nice pocket watch. All this will add to the price, of course, and these things often go for far more than pre-auction estimates.
At that time, the winning players still got watches, though these were later replaced by rings we still have today. Babe Ruth kept the 14-karat gold watch until not long before his death due to cancer in 1948. Shortly before he passed away, Ruth asked his friend Charles Schwefel whether he’d like something from his collection of medals and memorabilia and the Manhattan hotelier requested the watch.
He then kept it for two years, but his wife gave it to her nephew (and the Babe’s golf caddy) Lewis Fern. He then kept it for a long time – but it was sold in 1988 to its current owner, an East Coast sports memorabilia collector who kept it in a safe deposit box.
Whether or not the watch has any magical powers for the Yankees when it comes out of the box remains to be seen. They’re currently fifth favorites to win the World Series at around 13-1 with the world’s foremost betting exchange, Betfair.
Meanwhile, with Betfair the Dodgers are current favorites at a best-priced 7-1, with the Red Sox and Detroit Tigers close up behind, followed by the St Louis Cardinals, with the Washington Nationals the same price as the Yankees for what promises to be one of the most closely contested World Series ever.
Let’s hope Babe is enjoying it from beyond the grave.