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Memorabilia of legendary L.A. athletes included in massive auction



A 100-year-old bat once used by Babe Ruth is headed for auction and could fetch one of the largest returns for a piece of sports memorabilia in recent history.

The bat was used by baseball’s biggest name some time between 1918 and 1922. He hit a handful of homeruns with the bat, signed it, and then gave it to John “Homerun” Baker, a fellow major-leaguer at the time.

Despite the nickname, Baker only managed to hit 12 dingers in his career — as compared to 714 for the Babe. It remained with the Baker family until it was consigned to Heritage Auctions, which is handling the sale of the “perfect 10” graded piece of American sports history.

The bat is expected to fetch a whopping $2 million as part of the auction. As of Tuesday night, the current leading bid is more than $700,000.

The “Homerun” bat isn’t the only big ticket item that sports fans can bid on. As part of Heritage Auction’s 2022 Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction, customers can bid on hundreds of items, including some legendary pieces of L.A. sports history.

The auction currently features a number of one-of-a-kind items that once belonged to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

A game-worn warm-up jacket from the 2009 NBA Finals is currently listed at $25,000. Bryant’s Lakers would go on to win that year’s championship and Mamba himself was awarded his first Finals MVP.

A pair of game-worn Nike Zoom Kobe IV Venom sneakers are up for auction. The shoes were worn during a December 2008 game against the Miami Heat. And a Lakers replica No. 8 jersey signed by Kobe himself is up for grabs. You’ll have to spend at least $1,200 to bring it home with you.

If you’re a Showtime Lakers fan, you can bid on a game-worn Magic Johnson jersey from the early part of the Hall-of-Famer’s career. The jersey is Tiernan brand, Heritage says, which means Magic must’ve worn the jersey between 1979 and 1985. Johnson and the Lakers won three NBA Finals during that span.

Card collectors are in luck, too. A mint condition Wayne Gretzky rookie card, one of only two known in existence, is part of the auction. While a legend for the L.A. Kings, Gretzky started his career with the Edmonton Oilers. The other copy of the same card sold in 2020 for $1.29 million. Currently, bids for the “Great One” rookie card are approaching half a million.

A dual card featuring then-Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and future-Lakers legend LeBron James is expected to fetch more than $12,000 at auction. Heritage appraised the card with a value of more than twice that.

Finally, in some recent history, music lovers can get in the action too.

In what many consider to be one of the greatest Super Bowl Halftime Show performances of all time, an authentic NFL Super Bowl LVI ball signed by all of the halftime performers. The names of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent all cover the pigskin piece of entertainment history. Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak lent their John Hancocks as well.

The Super Bowl was held in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium and, as a double-whammy of L.A. history, the hometown Rams claimed their second NFL Championship on their own turf.

The estimated value of the Super Bowl Halftime Show ball is $10,000, Heritage says.

All of the items featured, as well as hundreds more, are able to be bid on right now at Heritage Auctions’ website.

The initial bidding ends on Aug. 27, and anyone who has made a bid by then will have the chance to increase their offers through Aug. 28.



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