Schilling's Bloody Sock and Other Really Gross Sports Memorabilia
Sports memorabilia doesn't always materialize in the form of an autographed ball or game-worn jersey. Sometimes it's body parts or things soaked in bodily fluids—like Curt Schilling's bloody sock.
Schilling's famous, bloody sock—but not the bloody sock—sold for $92,613 in an auction on Sunday. Sure the sock is an unlaundered embodiment of the Red Sox' 2004 World Series miracle, yet that doesn't change the fact that it's just plain gross.
But it's not even the most revolting sports collector's item to hit the market. Here's a look at six more that sold for big chunks of change despite their blatant violation of all health codes.
Tom Seaver's Used Toothpick
While you can purchase a box of freshly cut toothpicks for a dollar, one particular used toothpick went for $440 in 1992. The chewed sliver of wood had previously spent a short time in the mouth of New York Mets ace Tom Seaver.
The toothpick was found 23 years later in Seaver's warm-up jacket and it was worth every splinter.
Fun fact: At the same auction, Charlie Sheen bought the ball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series for $93,000. Later, it sold for more than $400,000.
Jeff Nelson's Bone Fragments
Sometimes you leave surgery with a souvenir.
In 2007, reliever Jeff Nelson attempted to auction off bone fragments from his elbow, which were removed from his pitching arm during a surgery.
But eBay cancelled the auction—which had topped $20,000—due to a rule that prohibits the sale of body parts. Nelson then sold his parts privately for a mere $2,000.
Even $2,000 is a bit overpriced, for Nelson's career—during which he had six stints with four different teams including three with the Mariners—ended with his surgery.
Ty Cobb's Teeth
Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb died in 1961, but more than just his legacy—which is either as one of the greatest players to ever live, one of the dirtiest or both—lives on today. In 1991, a dentist's daughter paid $8,000 for the controversial Cobb's dentures.
She then put them on display on her living room table before they ended up in Cooperstown.
The teeth weren't exactly an appetizing pre-dinner conversation piece either, with only three teeth on the lower jaw and six on the upper.
Luis Gonzalez' Chewed Bubblegum
A piece of bubble gum, chewed and spit on the ground from the mouth of Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez, sold for a big wad of 10,000 dollar bills in 2002 to a gum manufacturer (yes, really).
The gum was supposedly spit out during a spring training game the year after Gonzalez hit a game-winning single in the clinching Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.
When the authenticity of the gum was called into question, Gonzalez chewed a fresh piece in front of TV cameras, sealed it in a bottle and sent the wad off to be sold along with the alleged original.
Nolan Ryan's Jock Strap
They say one person's junk is another person's treasure.
Current Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan tested out that theory in 1991, when the jockstrap that he wore while he pitched his seventh (and final) record-setting no-hitter, sold for $25,000.
It all kind of makes sense when you consider that his jockstrap also probably carried over the "no-hitter" motto, but that might be stretching it.
Art Modell's Toilet
The Cleveland Browns have flushed most of their seasons for the last several decades down the toilet. In fact, some might compare them to the kind of stuff that typically gets flushed down a toilet.
Coincidentally, in 1996, the brown toilet from the suite of former Browns owner Art Modell was auctioned off for $2,700. It's especially fitting, because after seven championships, the Browns won just one—and their last—under the unpopular Modell.
Buyer Gay Baur said, "I wanted to see where Art Modell made all of his bad business decisions."
A six-foot long communal urinal from the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium was also sold for $150, which is somehow even more disgusting.