On April 18, 1923, before the first game ever played at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth said he'd give a year of his life to hit a home run in the new park. It took him three innings: Ruth crushed a ball into the rightfield bleachers, and New York beat--naturally--the Red Sox 4--1.
Ruth's agent had agreed to donate the bat used for Ruth's first homer of the season to the Los Angeles Evening Herald, which planned to award it to the city's top high school slugger. A few weeks later the 36inch, 451/2-ounce Louisville Slugger, which the Babe inscribed TO THE BOY HOME RUN KING OF LOS ANGELES, was presented to 16year-old Victor Orsatti (four homers) of Manual Arts High. Orsatti kept the bat until his death in 1984 and left it to an unidentified woman who cared for him in his later years. This week Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus will auction off the bat for probably upward of $1 million. Orsatti's caretaker, who now spends much of her time in Mexico, has pledged to donate most of the proceeds to an orphanage there.