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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 21:35 GMT
Babe Ruth bat sold for over $1m
Babe Ruth
Ruth joined the Yankees from Boston in 1920

The bat used by Babe Ruth to hit the first-ever home run at Yankee Stadium has fetched a record $1.26m (654,800) at auction.

The bat, made of solid ash billed as 'The Holy Grail of sports memorabilia', sold after about one minute of high-stakes bidding at Sotheby's in New York.

It was only the third piece of sports memorabilia to break the $1m mark at auction, joining Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball ($3m) and a 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card ($1.2m).

The winning bid came from Doug Allen, president of the Chicago-based auction house MastroNet Inc., on behalf of an East Coast collector who preferred to remain anonymous.

The hammer price was $1.1m, with a 15% commission added.

Ruth scored the famous home run on 18 April, 1923, in the first game at 'The House That Ruth Built'.

With 74,000 fans looking on, Ruth hit a third-inning blast into the right field bleachers as his New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

The Bambino later donated the bat to the Los Angeles Times as the top prize in a high school home run hitting contest.

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