A 1969 autographed Ernie Banks jersey sold at auction for $151,652 on Sunday.
The jersey, sold through SCP Auctions, had a minimum opening bid of $25,000. Seventeen bids later, the price had gone up six times that amount.
According to the auction house, Banks jerseys are the third rarest among members of the 500 home run club, behind Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx.
Remarkably, it is widely believed that more Babe Ruth jerseys exist than those of Banks. One theory as to their extreme scarcity is that several of the handful of known original Banks jerseys were tragically dismantled by various card companies for use on “swatch” cards in recent decades. Among the few surviving original, unaltered Banks jerseys known, the offered 1969 Cubs home example ranks near the top. Largely unknown to the collecting community it has rested quietly for more than 20 years as the centerpiece to Bill Riddell’s esteemed collection. Accompanying documentation from veteran collector Mike Specht details how he acquired it in 1977 directly from former San Diego Padres bat boy Bill Griswold along with other items from Griswold’s personal collection including Riddell’s 1971 Clemente signed game bat (Lot 232). The letter further states that Griswold obtained this Banks jersey from the Chicago Cubs equipment manager after the 1969 season.
Check out more details and photos of the jersey here.