The Most Expensive Game Jerseys Ever Sold at Auction


Collecting sports memorabilia is a worldwide passion. The main reason is simple to understand. Talented and successful sports players are not only celebrities in this world, but they are heroes, too. Sports enthusiasts all around the globe respect their abilities, marvel at their skills and aspire to be like them. It’s no wonder that items related to these superstars are collected, and it’s not surprising that fans are willing to spend a lot of hard earned cash just to have a piece of the magical sports world.

Fans have long been in the market for autographs, photographs, baseballs hit or caught during history-making games, bats used by expert sluggers, and certainly sports trading cards. What seems unusual to the casual observer, though, is the mind boggling amounts paid for sports clothing that has been worn by the best athletes. The auction market for game worn jerseys is one of the most lucrative, which brings the rational thinker’s mind to wonder… Why anyone would want to collect a smelly, dirty jersey? Fans know why. They understand the magic contained in those jerseys, and they want a bit of something to help them share in it.

That being said, there is a hierarchy of game worn jerseys. Fans have their favorite sports, and they have their favorite sports heroes. The most expensive game jerseys ever sold at auction are those worn by sports royalty during incredible events. Here are the best of the best.

Pele Number 10


World famous soccer star Pele wore the No. 10 shirt in 1970 at the World Cup Final in Mexico City. The first goal in that legendary game was scored by Pele. He exchanged shirts with Italian Roberto Rosato after Brazil was victorious with a 4 to 1 score. The shirt was sold for more than three times its predicted price at Christie’s Auction House in London. The final selling bid was $225,109, making it the most valuable soccer shirt, according to Guinness World Records.

Dave Gallaher


In 1905, New Zealand played the Test Match against Wales as part of the Originals Tour. David Gallaher was Captain of the Kiwi team. The shirt he wore 110 years ago was sold at auction for £180,000. This world record amount was more than the price anticipated by nine times. Six bidders, including five from New Zealand, participated in the Cardiff auction, with millionaire Nigel Wray thought to be the highest, and winning bidder.



In the early years of 1960, Bill Russell wore the Boston Celtics road jersey which ultimate sold for $118,230. His place as a five-time NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star made this game worn, and extremely rare, jersey a six-figure record breaker.

Wilt Chamberlain set the highest NBA scoring record for a single game, scoring 100 points during the 1961 to 1962 season. His Philadelphia Warriors game used home uniform sold at auction for $130,054.

Michael Jordan’s final game with the Chicago Bulls was played on April 18, 1998 against the New York Knicks. He scored 44 points during the game, and the jersey he wore to do it was auctioned for a final sale price of $173,240.

Johnny Unitas Jersey


Johnny Unitas was a true football legend. His spot as “The Golden Arm” was earned due to his simple greatness in the sport. His autographed, game worn and photo matched Baltimore Colts home uniform brought a handsome $118,230 at auction. It was a circa 1960 collection that brought the record for the most expensive football uniform shirt ever sold at auction.


Ice Hockey

When the United States 1980 Winter Olympic Ice Hockey Team played their victorious 4 to 3 winning game against the Soviet Union at Lake Placid, they earned the right to play for the gold medal in their final game. Captain Mike Eruzione scored the third period goal that won the game. His jersey was sold in February of 2013 for an astounding $657,250; a fitting remembrance of the “Miracle on Ice” United States team.

Canadian Paul Henderson made history when he scored the winning goal as his hockey team opposed Soviet Russia during the 1972 Summit Series. His #19 jersey, worn during the game, was sold at auction for $1.27 million. Guinness World Records awarded Classic Auctions a certificate stating that the jersey was the most expensive hockey jersey in the world. At the time, it was deemed the most expensive jersey of any sport auctioned.

Babe Ruth


Yankee pitcher Don Larson threw a no hitter during the fifth game of the World Series in 1956. The Yankees were playing against the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Larson’s jersey became part of baseball history when he wore it as the only pitcher to throw a World Series no hitter game. His jersey was sold for $756,000 at auction. His jersey earned the highest amount ever paid for a Yankees jersey worn by any player other than Babe Ruth.

Many credit Babe Ruth for inspiring the sports collectibles market. He was a baseball star that made America’s favorite sport an international favorite, too. Everyone who loved baseball wanted to have some kind of Babe Ruth memorabilia. It’s not a surprise that his jerseys have brought such amazing auction prices. In 1933, he played in the All-Star Game, and the jersey he wore brought $657,250 at auction in 2006.

During 1934, Babe Ruth participated in the Barnstorming Exhibitions. These were international games, featuring teams from Japan and the United States which included college and professional players. Babe Ruth was part of the Major League Baseball All Star Team’s World Tour. Baseball had become popular in Japan since the 1870s, but it was during this tour of Japan that Ruth became known internationally. He wore the so-named World Tour Jersey during these games. It is actually a complete uniform including pants, socks and everything else, and it is the only complete one known to have been worn by Ruth. It is also the only game worn jersey remaining from the Barnstorming Exhibitions. In 2005, it was sold at auction for $771,000.

In 1932, Babe Ruth, now with nicknames such as the Sultan of Swat, the Colossus of Clout, the Babe and The Great Bambino was playing at Wrigley Field in the third game of the 1932 World Series. He stepped up to the plate, pointed to the center field wall, and then knocked the next pitched ball over the wall. Though historians who have viewed film footage of his raised arm gesture, they don’t truly know what he was meaning. The act has gone down in baseball history as The Called Shot, because many believed that he was calling his shot. His jersey worn for this game sold for $940,000.

It is fitting that one of America’s beloved sports figures should be honored by having the most money ever spent on a game jersey. Babe Ruth, the superstar player, and American baseball hero’s 1920s Yankees Jersey sold at LeLand’s Auction House for $4,415,658. It was completely un-restored, and the most expensive item of sports memorabilia ever sold. It is the oldest jersey known to be worn by The Great Bambino.

From highly expensive to extraordinarily expensive, American baseball memorabilia has caught the eye of the American public in a big way. Legendary players like Babe Ruth brought pride and love for the sport that they played so very well. The Babe was the superstar of his era, and he and others, led the way for modern superstar collectibles. The beloved Great Bambino’s jerseys are worth more than money; they are worth magic…and then some.

Written by Worthly