Mike Piazza‘s first inning at bat against Roger Clemens in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series led to one of the more bizarre moments in post-season history.
Now, some collector has the chance to own the bat shard that was at the center of the controversy.
Former New York Yankees strength and conditioning coach Jeff Mangold is selling the bat barrel through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions on Saturday, February 22nd. Early internet bidding had already raised the price to $4,000 as of Wednesday evening; the auction catalog estimate is $10,000 plus.
“I’ve had this for 13 years,” Mangold told ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “It was just sitting in my office and very few people knew about it. But I think this is an article of sports memorabilia that has some substance to it.”
So, baseball fans, if you had $10,000 to spend on a piece of memorabilia, is this something you’d want in your collection? I think I’d pass – the incident is really not the high point of either player’s career nor one I especially enjoy remembering.
Bud Selig’s crusade against Alex Rodriguez has hurt his hobby marketability – to the point where many autographed items are going unsold on eBay and Steiner-certified signed baseballs could be had for $60 or less.
Nevertheless, MAB Celebrity Services is counting on Yankee fans excited about the upcoming 15th anniversary of the team’s 1999 World Series Championship to spend big for a few seconds of “The Rocket’s” time next January.
The autograph show promoter sent out an email this afternoon promoting Clemens’ scheduled appearance at the January 25th, 2014 “Pinstripe Perfection” event. Start saving now if you want to add Clemens’ autograph to that special item you’re working on.
Autographs will cost:
$199 for flat items up to 11″ x 14″ and baseballs
$249 for larger flat items, mini helmets and equipment
$299 for bats, jerseys and jersey numbers
Inscriptions are an additional $99.
My guess is that he’ll be a big draw despite the price – Clemens has not done any New York-area autograph shows recently, and there are a lot of Yankee fans (and Red Sox fans) in the area who need his autograph for team-signed items, plus all of the collectors with 300-win, 3000+ strikeout, Cy Young or Rookie of the Year projects.
It would have been fun to watch Dwight Gooden and Clemens in the same pitching rotation in the 1980s, but now I’m glad Clemens decided to go to college instead of signing with the Mets so I don’t need his autograph for my collection. (I have to admit, I’m less than thrilled every time I see one of my Lenny Dykstra items these days.)
Do players like Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco still have a place in your sports memorabilia collection?
Roger Clemens, once one of the most feared pitchers in Major League Baseball, will take the mound once again Saturday night for the Sugarland Skeeters.
Randy Hendricks, one of Clemens’ agents, told USA TODAY Sports’ Paul White via e-mail: “It is at this point a fun, local, one time kind of thing. If he does well, he will probably make at least one more home start. He threw 87 mph today with four pitches working, so he looks good to go at this point.”
It should be a unique experience for the Skeeters’ fans and the Bridgeport Bluefish players who will get to face Clemens.