Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Relics Sold At Auctions

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Posted: February 17, 2023

Updated: October 31, 2023

  • The most famous athletes' relics are worth millions of dollars
  • Their values will only increase
  • Jerseys, personal items, trophies, cards, etc.
  • Top 10 most expensive sports relics sold at auctions!

Most sports fans have had at least one sports event in their lives that they will never forget and even tell stories about it. On the other hand, if you have a piece of history, an item you can also show around, the storytelling rises to a whole new level! The most determined fans are willing to spend millions of dollars on relics of famous players or teams. We collected the top 10 most expensive sports relics sold at auctions!

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The Couple Most Expensive of All

Someone paid almost $6 million for Kobe Bryant’s autographed jersey at the beginning of February. Kobe Bryant, the legendary player of the Los Angeles Lakers, wore the jersey in the 2007/2008 championship season, at the end of which he was also chosen as the most valuable player in the NBA. Bryant played in the jersey he signed in 25 games, which they sold at an auction for 5.8 million dollars!

One of the reasons it was worth so much is that the 2007/2008 season was the first and last time in his career as the most valuable player. This made Kobe Bryant’s jersey the second priciest basketball jersey ever sold! Out of the 10 most expensive sports relics sold at auctions, the most valuable item belonged to Michael Jordan. In September last year, the jersey worn by the legend of the Chicago Bulls in the opening game of the 1998 finals sold for $10.1 million. Jordan won his sixth and final championship in the most valuable jersey.

Maradona’s Most Famous Jersey

The jersey in which one of the world’s best-ever footballers, Diego Maradona, scored perhaps his most famous or infamous goal also went under the hammer. The leader of the Argentine national team scored his first goal against England with his hand at the 1986 World Cup, and later they named it the hand of God.

The jersey broke not one but two Guinness records after the auction. With 9.3 million dollars, it is the most expensive soccer jersey they ever auctioned off, as well as the second priciest sports memorabilia.

Until recently, the blue number 10 jersey was owned by the former England midfielder Steve Hodge because he exchanged jerseys with Maradona after the quarter-final ended with a 2-1 Argentina victory. It’s a strange twist of fate that more people remember the superstar’s first goal than the second, even though they chose it as the goal of the century.

By the way, the goalkeeper of the English national team, Peter Shilton, never forgave Maradona for the goal scored with his hand because the Argentine legend never apologized for the incident. However, this unprecedented event only increased the relic’s value!

Ruth Babe Has the Most Relics Auctioned Off!

George Herman Ruth was a record holder with 714 home runs for almost 40 years. It’s not surprising that he had a lot of relics. The jersey worn by the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth has become one of the most expensive sports relics sold at an auction. Someone bought the shirt in the New York auction for $5.64 million. Another Babe Ruth jersey held the previous record too, as they sold it for $4.4 million in 2012. 

The jersey comes from the 1928-1930 period of Ruth’s over two-decades-long career. That was when he became a superstar. The auction took place at Yankee Stadium, where nearly 400 Ruth-related relics were up for sale in addition to the jersey. They did not reveal the identities of the sellers and buyers. They sold his cap at the same auction for $537,278. His baseball bat is also on the top 10 most expensive sports relics sold at auctions. Babe Bambino Ruth hit his first home run with that bat against his former team, the Boston Red Sox. 

The bat fetched $1.25 million and is the most valuable baseball bat to date. Babe Ruth was famous for carving all his home runs into his bat. Bambino had a great season in 1919, and everyone was surprised when the Red Sox announced his leave. In addition, the Boston team sold the player to their rival New York Yankees. It is one of the most famous contracts of all time, as Boston did not win a championship for the next 86 years. They even mention that period as the result of the curse of the Bambino. They sold the contract in 2005 for $996,000.

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Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Relics From Basketball 

Canadian-born physicist and inventor James Naismith moved to the United States after completing his university studies. He invented basketball in 1891 while working as a teacher and wrote the rulebook later that year. Interestingly, most of the rules are still the same today as what he wrote. The first rule book is among the top 10 most expensive sports relics of all time, worth more than $4.3 million.

Honus Wagner’s 1909 Baseball Card

He was considered by many the best baseball player of all time, but certainly the best of his era. The player, nicknamed Flying Holland, played the sport for more than 21 years and was one of the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

At that time, the tobacco factories printed the cards, and Wagner did not want the children to get used to tobacco because of it. Hence its price. For this reason, the card is considered very rare, and it is almost impossible to find one in good condition. They auctioned the relic off in 2007 for $2.8 million.

Paul Henderson – 1972 Summit Series Jersey

Paul Henderson was a Canadian ice hockey player and is considered one of Canada’s national heroes. At the time, Canada and Russia dominated the ice, but after Canada did not compete in the World Cup, the two nations decided to host an eight-game series to determine which team was better.

The Russians led 3:1 overall, but in the end, Canada won 4:3. In each of the last three matches, Henderson scored the goal that determined the outcome. His very final goal came 34 seconds before the end of the eighth game and decided the series. For the Canadians, this was not only a success in sports but a cultural victory over the Russians during the Cold War. Someone paid $1.2 million for his jersey.

Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Relics From Soccer 

The second most valuable football memorabilia is the Football Association Challenge Cup, better known as the FA Cup. The cup series, founded in 1871, is one of the most prestigious tournaments in Europe. It is interesting that a total of five such trophies have been produced since its creation, and they only auctioned one off. This trophy is the oldest and went to the winners between 1896 and 1910. Someone paid $956,000 for the cup in 2005. You can check out the 2023 FA Cup odds at Bovada Sportsbook!

Muhammad Ali’s Gloves

The boxing gloves Muhammad Ali wore during the 1965 professional world heavyweight title match against Sonny Liston have sold for nearly one million dollars. At the auction held in New York, an unnamed bidder paid 956,000 dollars for the iconic relic. The legendary fight in Maine was the second fight between the two boxers, and it lasted just a few minutes.

Ali knocked out his rival in the first round with a phantom punch. An interesting fact about the match was that Muhammad Ali, one of the best figures in the sport’s history, boxed for the first time wearing this name. He won the heavyweight crown from Liston a year earlier as Cassius Clay. The gloves Ali had on in his first fight against Liston in Miami sold for $836,500 at an auction years ago.

Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Relics Sold at Auctions

The two-time English champion, Golden Ball winner, and European Championship winner George Best, who played as an attacking midfielder and winger in his teams, spent the most successful years of his career at Manchester United. In eleven seasons for the English club, he scored 179 goals in 470 matches and was the top goalscorer for six consecutive seasons. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Also, they named Belfast Airport after him in 2006. 

Someone bought one of George Best’s soccer jerseys at an auction for thirteen thousand pounds. The outstanding player of Northern Irish football wore this shirt during his first national team match.

It increased its value when his team won against the best of Uruguay in 1964. According to online sportsbook sites in the UK, several other items of the footballer, who died in 2005 at the age of 59, were sold for thousands of pounds at online auctions. Sadly, he is one of the soccer players who struggled with addiction!

In addition to the top 10 most expensive sports relics, one of the most noteworthy items was his little black notebook. It was full of phone numbers and names of women, also featuring details of his extravagant lifestyle. So it’s not surprising it aroused considerable interest when it went under the hammer. The black notebook contains all his main contacts, including his love interests. The most persistent bidder paid one and a half thousand pounds for it.

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