With a heritage extending beyond a century, the New York Yankees require little introduction. The team holds the MLB record for the most World Series victories and Hall of Fame inductees, making an indelible mark on the game’s history.
Several of those wins were in the 1920s and 1930s, early in the Golden Age of Baseball when the Yankees had several talented hitters who collectively became known as Murderers’ Row. Names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Tony Lazzeri gained household recognition, resulting in memorabilia and artworks of the team and its players, like the newspaper cartoon I discuss in the video above.
Remembering the Yankees’ Legacy
The New York Yankees’ 1927 roster stands out as one of the most successful teams in the history of baseball. Although the nickname had been used for previous Yankees players and other baseball teams, “Murderers’ Row” later became synonymous with the Babe Ruth-era Yankees for their extraordinary lineup of batters.
Since then, fans have loved to capture the team’s legendary status through memorabilia, which provides a tangible link to the Yankees’ enduring past. When considering items of value, their historical significance, and the joy they give you. Here are a few categories to be on the lookout for:
Game-Used Yankees Jerseys
Many baseball teams have changed their jersey designs over time, but the Yankees have long kept their familiar white, gray, and navy colors, often with pinstripes—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The jerseys worn by those iconic members of Murderers’ Row typically sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but later jerseys remain very valuable for well-known players.
Although the Yankees introduced players’ numbers as part of their permanent uniforms, the team has never included players’ names on the backs of their jerseys. While fans can find jerseys made by third parties with names stitched on the backs, these are not genuine, official uniforms. You should trust your intuition if you encounter a listing that is too good to be true.
Game-Used Baseball Bats
During the 1927 season, the New York Yankees won 110 regular season games, and the batting lineup was unlike any other. For these reasons, game-used baseball bats from that era are very valuable.
For example, in 2019, WorthPoint Industry Partner Goldin sold Lou Gehrig’s game-used bat from 1928 to 1930 for $80,400. The auction house also sold Earle Combs’s game-used bat from 1928 to 1931 for just under $16,000 in 2020.
High-grade, autographed baseballs are considered valuable and rare, especially those featuring the entire team or legendary players. In 2018, this 1927 New York Yankees team-signed baseball commanded $66,000 at auction, likely for the prominent inclusion of Babe Ruth’s signature on one side.
Baseball Trading Cards
And, of course, trading cards have been extremely popular among baseball fans and collectors for over a century. One of the most valuable baseball cards in the trade is Babe Ruth’s 1914 Baltimore News rookie card, but Ruth’s cards produced while he was with the Yankees are regularly sold for six-figure amounts.
In 1933, the Goudey Gum Company of Boston made the first baseball cards packaged with chewing gum in every pack. Ruth’s star power resulted in Goudey featuring the player on four different cards, all of which remain extremely valuable and beloved by collectors. However, even many modern baseball cards of Ruth and other Yankees still rake in high amounts.
Love them or hate them; you have to respect them. Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees are one of our country’s most successful sports franchises. No matter the size of your shrine, there is pride in owning and sharing a piece of the Yankees’ legacy. When digging to add new elements to your collection, research well and buy what brings you joy. Happy hunting!
Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. Individuals and organizations use WorthPoint, an Inc. 500 Company, to seek credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.