Going, Going…Memorabilia Buffs Make Stadium the Auction House that Ruth Built

It'll be bidders instead of batters stepping up to the plate at Yankee Stadium tomorrow as the House That Ruth Built hosts its first auction of Bronx Bomber memorabilia.

Besides the usual array of bats, balls, jerseys and autographs of the Yanks' legendary players, one item is sure to bring music to fans' ears - a Yankee Stadium organ.

The Hammond Colonnade 200 was played from 1985 to 2003 by the beloved Eddie Layton.

Layton, who died in 2004, tickled the classic instrument's 122 ivories to lead the fans in cheering and song, which were pumped out over the Stadium's 50,000-watt amplification system.

The organ, listed in "fantastic" condition, comes with the original owner's guide and has a reserve bid of $25,000.

It's one of the crown jewels of more than 200 highly coveted collector's items on the block.

Bidding, which has already started online, will continue live at the Stadium from 3-6 p.m. tomorrow, and fans who want to attend can register for free at www.greyflannelauctions.com.

Among the one-of-a-kind collectibles is Joe DiMaggio's 1942 home flannel jersey, which features a World War II red, white and blue patch, and was worn by Joltin' Joe just before he entered the Army. It already has a bid of $54,000.

Also up for grabs is a bat Babe Ruth used from 1922 to 1924 - when he batted .362 with 122 home runs. It's currently listed at $26,000.

A baseball autographed by the Sultan of Swat in 1926 is on offer with a current price of $15,000, as well as a 1940s jersey he donned with a bid of more than $8,800.

Mickey Mantle's 1951 autographed rookie bat is up for grabs, with the bidding already at $12,180.

Followers of The Mick will also be interested in the autographed 1955 jersey he wore the year before he won the Triple Crown - leading the American League in home runs, batting average and runs batted in - to establish himself as one of the greatest switch hitters of all time. Bidding is up to $65,340.

If you're interested in more recent Yankee history, there's Derek Jeter's jersey from Opening Day this past season, already up to $7,135.

The auction is expected to fetch several million dollars, according to Brandon Steiner, CEO of the Steiner Sports memorabilia company, which is coordinating the sale.

"In the world of collecting, this is the great one. When it comes to collectibles, the Yankees are the jewel," Steiner told The Post.

But if the items seem a bit too dear for your budget, fear not - there are some that won't cost you a pitching arm and a leg.

If you want to watch the Yankees on TV at home in the best seat in the house, a wood and iron seat from the Stadium before its renovation in the 1970s is available. Current bid: $1,210.

A rare program from the historic April, 18, 1923, Opening Day at the Stadium has a current bid of only $806.

The leather chair that Joe Torre used in his manager's office has a bid of $500.

And one of the bases used in the 2000 Subway Series and signed by Yank and Met veteran hurler Al Leiter is listed at $275.

For the real cheapskate, try for one of Yankee locker-room chairs that start at the bargain price of $250.


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