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Babe Ruth pocket watch up for auction, could fetch $750,000

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Babe Ruth items have been known to bring in big bucks at sports memorabilia auctions, and soon another item used by the Yankee great is expected to go for a huge chunk of change.

According to The Associated Press on Friday, Babe Ruth's 1923 World Series championship pocket watch will appear in a Heritage Auctions lot next month and is expected to go for at least $750,000. While it's certainly an impressive sum, that figure has a long way to go to catch the sports memorabilia record already set by The Bambino. In April 2012, a jersey worn by Ruth circa 1920 sold for an astonishing $4,415,658.

The pocket watch was originally thought to have been lost to history. Ruth's close friend Charles Schwefel received it from the Hall of Famer's personal collection, and after two years Schwefel's wife passed it to her nephew. It eventually made its way to the current owner, who is remaining anonymous, through a private sale in 1988.

In addition to a scene showing a pitcher and catcher on the front, the engraved commemorative timepiece also includes the words "To My Pal Charles Schwefel."

Heritage Director of Sports Collectibles Chris Ivy said that since the watch is Ruth's personal reward for the Yankees' first World Series championship it is "the most important piece of New York Yankees memorabilia that exists."

The owner is said to have acquired the piece for about $200,000 and will use the money from the upcoming auction for charity work.

Ruth received the watch after the Yankees beat the New York Giants in six games to win their first championship. That Series was their third appearance and third consecutive against the Giants, who took the 1921 and 1922 titles. 1923 was also the year the team moved into Yankee Stadium, which would eventually become known as "The House That Ruth Built."

The watch will go up for auction on Feb. 22.

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