Major League Car Guys



October 16, 2012

Some of baseball’s most famous players have also been known for their major league love of cars. Check out this past and present shortlist of the most colorful cast of car guys to ever play the game. 

The King of Crash

Kid of Crash

There is little question that Babe Ruth was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, baseball players to pick up a ball and glove. A terror to major league pitchers on the field, The Homerun King was even more dangerous on the road.

Back in the day, Ruth was known for hobnobbing with celebrities, purchasing customized, powerful automobiles and then promptly wrecking them. The best known player in baseball liked to drive fast, run red lights, and leave the scene of accidents, which on one occasion led to mistaken reports of Ruth’s death in 1920.

During the course of his career, Ruth bought and was given a small fleet of now rare vehicles. Check out this Motor Trend report on one survivor, a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr Continental Cabriolet, which sold in a 2006 auction for $407,000.

Mr. October

Reggie Jackson

In November 1976, Reggie Jackson signed a 5-year, 2.96 million dollar contract with the New York Yankees and the first thing he did was buy a brand-new burgundy Rolls-Royce Corniche.

The Hall of Famer and man whose 563 home runs are the 13th most in major league history started collecting cars before he was able to drive. Around 30 of Jackson’s cars, worth around $3.2 million, were destroyed in a warehouse fire back in the late ‘80s. Sports Illustrated recently reported that today, the 66-year-old Jackson maintains two garages — one in Newport Beach and another 15,000-square-foot facility in Seaside, California, where he stores some of his favorites. These include a 1967 Ferrari NART Spyder, a number of ‘50s and ‘60s era Corvettes and meticulously restored Chevrolet sedans like his garnet 1955 Bel Air with a tan leather interior, which is nearly identical to one of the first cars he owned.

The Mick

The Mick

He had a reputation as one of the crankiest, most boorish and reckless players in Major League history. But one of the possessions Mickey Mantle held most dear suggests that somewhere inside The Mick beat the heart of a sentimentalist.

In 1949, the year that Mickey Mantle graduated high school and was awarded a contract to play baseball for the New York Yankees farm club, he purchased a brand new, baby-blue Plymouth “Super Deluxe” convertible. Perhaps the vehicle reminded Mantle of simpler times, but despite all the perks and material wealth that comes with legendary status Mantle held onto his favorite first car almost until the year he died (1995). The vehicle sold at an annual Oklahoma golf outing and charity auction hosted by Mantle for the "Make A Wish Foundation". The last time at auction, in 2008, the car fetched $34,000.

The Doc

The Doc

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy “Doc” Halladay is known for a pretty nasty cutter and a clear passion for really cool cars, if the 1932 Ford roadster in which he showed up for Spring Training earlier this year is any indication. In 2009, Halladay signed a 60 million dollar contract with the Phillies and, in 2010, won his second Cy Young Award.

Between pitching no-hitters, winning an ESPY and recording over 2,000 career strikeouts, Halladay reportedly helped rescue a boy from an anaconda while on a fishing trip in the Amazon in 2011. “The Dos Equis guy may have won trophies for his game face or bowled a round overhand,” wrote Steve DelVecchio, a contributor for Larry Brown Sports, “but [Halladay] is really the most interesting man in the world.”

Mr. Muscle

Mr Muscle

In 2011, Evan Longoria’s 1967 Camaro RS was reportedly stolen from an Arizona parking lot while the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman was busy at spring training. Police believe the car, worth $75,000 and never recovered, was likely stripped for parts.

The 2008 Rookie of the Year now drives a 1969 Camaro SS. Longoria has a thing for vintage Chevrolet muscle, according to MSN Auto, and also proves that “not all MLB Camaros are tricked-out eyesores — or even new models, for that matter.”

 

Comments

  1. Tony K. Buffalo NY

    Regarding Evan Longoria's 1967 Camaro--It's bad enough that it was stolen; but to have it dismantled for parts is terrible. It's like defacing a chrished work of art......

  2. Gil Libin Calgary Canada

    I own a 1972 Cougar Convertible, of which only 1240 were made and while they are kinda rare I have never seen a writeup of any kind on this vehicle. Can you correct this omission if at all possible .

  3. Curt United States

    I own a 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible that was owned by Tony LaRussa for 20+ years.

  4. Curt United States

    I own a 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible that was owned by Tony LaRussa for 20+ years. Makes the car that much more special.

  5. Susan United States

    I heard there is a new popular demand for older four door models. I have a 1970 Chevelle Malibu in very good condition and was wondering if the market improves, I would have an easier time selling it.

  6. Ferbee Sarvis Chadbourn,nc 28431

    I Own A 1974 VW Bettle That My Wife Bought For Me Around July The First In 2009 Before She Passed Away On July 23rd. of 2009. She Bought It For Me Out Of The Junk Yard And Wanted To Know What I Was Going To Do With A Pile Of Junk. I Told Her I Was Going To Restore It Like New And She Laughed And Said You Have Started A Lot Of Jobs And Get Tired Of It And Quit, So I Told Her I Was Going To Restore It To Look Like Herbie The Love Bug, And After She Passed Away I Started On It And Worked On It For Most Of The Next 2 yrs.Before I Finished It But I Finished It And Put The Decals On It And It Looks Just Like Herbie But Better To Me,The Insurance Company Has Insured It For $15000.00 And I Have Won Or Placed In Every Car Show I Have Entered It In.

  •  
  •   
  •  
  •