BOSTON (AP).- Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams' 1949 MVP plaque sold Saturday for nearly $300,000 at the first major auction of his sports, military and personal memorabilia.
Nearly 800 items sold at Fenway Park, the world's oldest baseball park and home field of the only team that Williams played for during his 1939-1960 major league career. Some of the proceeds from the auction will benefit The Jimmy Fund, a charity affiliated with Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for which the slugger helped raise money during his lifetime.
A baseball in pristine condition that Babe Ruth autographed for Williams sold for $195,500. The ball, which had the inscription: "To my pal Ted Williams, From Babe Ruth," set a record sale for a baseball signed by Ruth that wasn't used in a game, Hunt Auctions Inc. said. The ball was stolen from the Williams family's Florida home in the 1970s and wasn't recovered until 2005.
Williams' 1957 Babe Ruth Sultan of Swat Award for outstanding batting achievement sold for $230,000. Other top items included his 1949 American League MVP plaque, which fetched $299,000, a used Red Sox road jersey from 1955 that sold for $126,500 and Williams' Hall of Fame induction ring, which went for nearly $110,000.
An 8-year-old Texas boy and his parents were the winning bidders on Williams' 1957 Silver Bat award, which sold for nearly $195,500, and Williams' 1960 All-Star game bat, which went for $80,500.
Williams, the last major league hitter to bat .400 posting a .406 average in 1941 enjoyed a diverse life, including as a U.S. Marine in World War II and the Korean War, a member of the fishing hall of fame and a skilled hunter. He flew 39 combat missions in Korea and took enemy fire three times, including during an encounter that forced him to land his stricken jet on its belly.
"There're not many elements of his life that did not exude the same excellence as he did on the baseball field," said David Hunt, whose company sold the memorabilia on behalf of Williams' daughter, Claudia Williams, of Hernando, Fla. "And that is really unique ... He's sort of like the John Wayne of baseball and sports of that time period and I think that'
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who bid by phone, bought Williams' World War II and Korean War flight log books for $35,600 and planned to send them to The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Hunt Auctions said.
The auction coincided with the 10th anniversary of Williams' death at age 83 and Fenway Park's 100th anniversary.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.