Aaron Judge is a dong-mashing hero whose feats of dinger-smokage have come to define the 2017 baseball season, and also a Yankee, and so authentic Aaron Judge memorabilia is already sort of a big deal. Hop on ebay and you will find hundreds of listings: weird things like “signed baseball golf ball in display case,” and “autographed nameplate;” dozens and dozens of balls; some bats; lots of jerseys. They’ve got a pair of cleats on there going for close to $9,000.
Darren Rovell of ESPN has the story of the jersey worn by Judge in his MLB debut selling at auction for a whopping $157,366 Sunday morning, a sale price that is apparently just as huge as it seems:
The winning bid in the auction, held by Steiner Sports, represents the highest price paid for any jersey worn in the four major U.S. pro sports leagues in the past 15 years. It topped the $135,060 paid last month for the jersey Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry wore in Game 3 of this year’s NBA Finals.
The sale price on the Judge jersey is a huge jump from the price paid for a game-used jersey Steiner sold just last month. The jersey Judge wore May 28, when he hit his first career grand slam, sold for $45,578.
Lots of cool details in this report: an autographed Aaron Judge rookie card sold on ebay last month for $14,000; a game-worn Aaron Judge minor league uniform that Memory Lane hopes to sell for $25,000. But of all the insane numbers presented, this one has to be the craziest:
To put the $157,366 price tag in perspective, Mickey Mantle’s bat from the 1957 All-Star Game sold for $135,332 on Sunday.
Judge is awesome, and I hope he has a long and brilliant career and smokes more dingers than anyone, but if he doesn’t—if he’s already made the high water mark, and injuries derail his potential or major league pitching catches up to him—whoever paid $157,000 for his debut jersey is gonna feel like a real bozo.