Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run 90 years ago against the Cleveland Indians. His Yankees lost the game, but his bat that day sold this weekend for more than $1 million.

After the “Sultan of Swat” whacked the ball out of League Park, it rolled down nearby Lexington Avenue, according to newspaper accounts. Ruth was the first player to reach the home run milestone.

The family of Ruth’s friend, former Suffern, N.Y., mayor Jim Rice, quietly stored the bat for almost 75 years until Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based SCP Auctions put it up for sale.

The unidentified buyer bid slightly less than the $1.3 million paid by an anonymous East Coast collector 15 years ago for the 45-ounce bat used for Ruth’s first home run on opening day of the then-new Yankee Stadium in 1923. Ruth gave it to the winner of a high school hitting competition the same year.

When he retired in 1935 with 714 home runs in a 22-season career with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves, the Bambino had more than twice as many as the No. 2 slugger on the list. Ruth’s record stood for 39 years, until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.

“The home run belonged to him,” wrote Robert Creamer in his biography of Ruth.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.