Paige Indians jersey sells for $110K

Updated: November 6, 2004, 7:06 PM ET
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A Louisville Slugger signed by "Shoeless" Joe Jackson sold for $137,500 Saturday at a memorabilia auction held at the museum where the bats are made.

Cracked on the handle and worn on the barrel, the bat, made in 1910 or 1911, has Jackson's signature along the hitting area in bold ink. An unidentified private collector made the purchase.

The bat was the featured piece among 412 items sold. The Louisville Slugger Museum planned to use the funds raised by the auction to pursue other pieces of baseball memorabilia.

The museum dredged many of the auctioned items from a warehouse and file cabinets in the basement of the downtown Hillerich & Bradsby Co., where the trademark bats are still manufactured.

Also Saturday, a bat used by Ty Cobb went for $132,000, a record for a Cobb bat. Chris Cavalier, who runs a sports memorabilia business in San Ramon, Calif., made the purchase.

"I really didn't think I'd be leaving with this bat," Cavalier said. "It's still hard to believe I actually own it now."

The bat's value was enhanced by grease-penciled writing on the barrel. The markings were not made by Cobb, but by a Hillerich & Bradsby receiving agent working at the factory during Cobb's era. They indicate that Cobb probably used the bat, then had it sent back to Louisville to have more made exactly like it.

Bats weren't the only items on sale.

A Cleveland Indians jersey worn by Satchel Paige was sold for $110,000. A letter handwritten by Babe Ruth, with six of his signatures at the bottom, and its original envelope went for $41,800. A baseball signed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig went for $31,900.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press