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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 14:58 GMT
Babe Ruth bat goes on sale
Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth's move from Boston sparked a Red Sox decline

The bat Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium is to be sold at auction.

The pre-sale estimate for the 36-inch ash wood bat Sotheby's will auction off next week is $1m, but it could fetch much more.

Ruth used the bat as the Yankees beat his old team Boston 4-1 in the inaugural game on 18 April, 1923, at Yankee Stadium - known as "The House that Ruth Built."

The famed "Curse of the Bambino" was said to have started with Boston's sale of Ruth to the Yankees before the 1920 season.

It was getting into full swing as the Red Sox domination of baseball yielded to the Yankees, who won the World Series in 1923, with Boston finishing last.

The curse did not end until this year when the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918.

They staged the greatest comeback in post-season baseball history to beat the Yankees for the American League Championship.

The bat is among hundreds of baseball memorabilia lots in the Sotheby's sale on 2 December in New York.

Other big names linked to items on sale include Dodgers pitching great Sandy Koufax, Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle and "Pee Wee" Reese of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.

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