Aaron Judge's 62nd home run ball auction missing screwballs

Aaron Judge's 62nd home run ball auction missing screwballs

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Aaron Judge’s record-breaking 62nd home run ball hits auction block

Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin showcases iconic sports memorabilia on the auction block on ‘Varney & Co.’

Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball is expected to sell for a record when the auction for the one-of-a-kind collectible ends Saturday night.

Estimates say the ball will fetch more than Mark McGwire’s 70th homer from the 1998 season. "BIg Mac's" ball sold for $3 million. Texan Cory Youmans said he turned down a $3 million offer for Judge's ball.

EXPERTS ESTIMATE HOW MUCH AARON JUDGE'S HISTORIC HOME RUN BALLS COULD BE WORTH

"We expect the final bidding to be over $3 million," Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin said on "Varney & Co." 

"This is probably the most famous baseball in the world, and it should set a record for the most valuable baseball ever sold," Goldin told Stewart Varney.

The five priciest home run balls:

The Judge auction is expected to run smoothly, without the screwballs marking some colorful past sales.

MICKEY MANTLE'S 'LEWD' QUESTIONNAIRE SELLS FOR MORE THAN $242K

Unique DNA tech

Mickey Mantle’s 500th homer (1999): $144,000

American baseball player Mickey Mantle (1931 – 1995), of the New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium, New York, Sept. 1962. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

The auction for Mickey Mantle’s 500th home run ball unfolds like an episode from "CSI."

Oregon firefighter Dale Cicero bought "The Mick’s" historic ball in 1996 for $24,200 and put it up for sale three years later, The Oklahoman reported.

Minutes before bidding was to start, a family friend of the New York Yankees outfielder told the auctioneer the ball was a fake, claiming Mantle’s widow, Merlyn, owned the true 500th ball.

The ball was withdrawn from sale and PSA/DNA Authentication & Grading services was called in to figure out which one was real. The company used "unique DNA technology," along with an "exhaustive" analysis of documentary and non-documentary evidence to conclude that Cicero’s ball was authentic. PSA/DNA then tagged the ball with a permanent and non-transferable trace liquid containing a synthetic strand of DNA that is nearly "impossible to replicate," PSA/DNA said.

In 2007, Cicero told the Texas Journal of The Wall Street Journal he sold the ball to an investor group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The price was "well into the six figures." Later reports listed the price at $144,000.

BABE RUTH GLOVE SELLS FOR RECORD $1.5 MILLION AT AUCTION

Psychic friends no help

Eddie Murray’s 500th homer (1996): $500,000 (oops, $280,000)

Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, #33, throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles were celebrating the 30th anniversary of Camden Yards Aug. 6, 2022 in Baltimore. (Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Photos)

Dan Jones, a 30-year-old marketing director, caught the 500th career homer by Baltimore Orioles first baseman "Steady Eddie" Murray on Sept. 6, 1996.

He sold the souvenir to Michael Lasky, founder of the Psychic Friends Network. PSN was a $3.99 per minute telephone service that flooded late night TV during the 1990s with half hour infomercials hosted by singer Dionne Warwick.

Lasky agreed to fund an annuity that would pay Jones $500,000, including interest, over 20 years. 

Unfortunately, PSN filed for bankruptcy two years later, leaving Jones with $280,000.

"All this could have been avoided if he'd [Lasky] only called his own psychic lines," said James Olson, a lawyer for the network's operator, Inphomation Communication, commenting on the bankruptcy filing.

BABE RUTH'S HAIR UP FOR AUCTION AND BIDDING TOPS $11,000

Fired and docked $5

Hank Aaron's 755th homer (1976): $650,000

Hall of Famer and former Atlanta Braves Hank Aaron waves to fans after being introduced prior to the Braves MLB baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Atlanta April 5, 2010. Aaron threw out the first pitch. (Reuters/Tami Chappell / Reuters Photos)

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron drilled his final career home run into the left field seats of Milwaukee County Stadium on July 20, 1976. 

The ball flew above the head of groundskeeper Richard Arndt, who promptly retrieved it, according to FanGraphs. Arndt wanted to personally present the ball to the Hall of Famer. Instead, the Brewers offered Arndt a photo opportunity along with a signed ball and one of the slugger’s bats. Arndt rejected the offer. The Brewers fired him a day later. To add insult to injury, the club deducted $5 from Arndt’s final paycheck for keeping the ball.

In 1994, Arndt got Aaron to sign the ball at a baseball card show, without telling the Home Run King that he was signing "the ball," FanGraphs said.

Arndt finally sold his piece of history for $650,000 to Connecticut money manager Andrew Knuth in 1999.

FAN WHO CAUGHT AARON JUDGE HISTORIC HOMER MAY CATCH BIG TAX BILL

It’s outta here!

Aaron Judge’s 62nd homer ($???)

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge gestures as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run, his 62nd of the season, during the first inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 4, (AP Photo/LM Otero / AP Images)

Compared to the examples above, the sale of Judge’s historic homer is expected to land straight in strike zone.

Registered investment advisor Cory Youmans caught the ball on Oct. 4 in Globe Life Field. The shot off Texas Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco broke the American League single season homerun record set in 1961 by Yankees outfielder Roger Maris.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds owns the all-time record with 73 four baggers.

Perhaps the only interesting fact about Judge's ball is a coincidence. Youmans is married to Emmy-winning reporter (and former "The Bachelor contestant") Bri Amaranthus. The man who caught Judge's 61st ball, Toronto Bluejay’s bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, is also married to a sports reporter, the NFL Network’s Sara Walsh. 

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People treating sports cards as alternative investments: Memorabilia auction founder

Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions, says that ‘there are now hedge funds and mutual funds that are buying’ sports cards for alternate investments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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