On the same day, June 25, Valley resident Todd McFarlane bought Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball in a televised auction for $450,000, card manufacturer Donruss/Playoff announced it had paid more than a quarter million dollars for a rare Babe Ruth game-worn jersey.
The company plans to cut it up and place it on cards.
Donruss paid $264,210 for a Ruth-worn 1925 Yankees pinstripe home jersey, one of only three Ruth home jerseys known to exist, winning the jersey through bidding in Http://www.Lelands.com's May auction. That auction generated a 15-year-old company record $4.2 million for the New York-based auction house.
According to Lelands, the Ruth jersey, which has "G.H. Ruth" embroidered into the fabric, is the earliest known in existence.
Donruss will display the jersey at the company's corporate booth at Major League Baseball's All-Star FanFest, which runs through Tuesday in Chicago, and the National Sports Collectors Convention, July 24-27 in Atlantic City, N.J.
From there, the Ruth jersey will make its trading card debut next year in 2004 Donruss Classics Baseball.
"Jerseys like this traditionally have been available only to society's mega-rich," Donruss president Bill Dully told http://www.Beckett.com. "Donruss has taken a leadership position and for the cost of a pack of trading cards, people across America can experience the thrill of owning a piece of this great baseball icon."
Donruss has heard from collectors opposed to its cutting up the jersey for inclusion in cards. However, the company believes more fans and collectors can experience history if it does so.
"Thousands of people will now get the opportunity to own a piece of history vs. one, and I'm all for the masses sharing in this exquisite piece," Mike Gardner, Donruss vice president of sales and marketing, told Beckett.com.
OLD TIMERS ALREADY
Three former Diamondbacks will appear at a card show July 19 at North Phoenix Baptist Church. Andy Benes, who was Arizona's opening day pitcher March 31, 1998, in its first regular-season game, will sign from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Autographs will be $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show for any item.
Former relief pitcher Greg Swindell will sign from noon to 1 p.m. There will be 200 tickets available at $20 per item.
Matt Williams, an original Diamondback who was released earlier this season, will be signing from noon to 2 p.m. Autographs will be $20 each, except for bats or jerseys, which will be $35.
It will be Williams' lone autograph appearance in the Valley.
For information, contact Jeff Thalblum at (623) 587-9766.
Sunday: Elks Lodge, 6398 E. Oak St., Scottsdale. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: Free. Contact: Bob Phelan (480) 990-1007.