'Shoeless Joe' bat fetched nearly $1 million at auction

Feb. 23, 2014 at 1:58 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- An antique bat swung by baseball pioneer "Shoeless" Joe Jackson hit a home run with buyers in New York Saturday, the auctioneers said.

The bat used by Jackson in his rookie season in 1911 fetched $958,000, the highest price of all of the memorabilia from some of the United States' legendary sports figures that was sold by Heritage Auction House.

Chris Ivy, director of sports collectibles for the auctioneers, told CNN the high price supported sentiment that Jackson should finally be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame decades after he was banished from the game over the 1919 "Black Sox" gambling scandal.

"This bat serves as a key piece of evidence for the many millions who believe that Jackson deserves enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame," Ivy said.

Other rarities sold Saturday were a commemorative watch presented to Babe Ruth after the 1923 World Series and the boxing gloves Muhammad Ali wore in his famous 1964 fight with Sonny Liston.

Of more recent genre was a broken bat that Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens threw at Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series.

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