Last week, a historic piece of baseball memorabilia officially was put up for auction to the highest bidder. The 34-inch Mizuno bat was used by banished former star Pete Rose in 1986 when he recorded his final and major league record 4,256th hit of his career.
The auctioneer, Lelands.com, expects that the collector's item could potentially fetch the highest price ever obtained for a baseball bat, perhaps exceeding the $1.3 million paid for the one Babe Ruth used to hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium.
It is interesting that the fallen star's bat could command a greater price than that of the universally acknowledged greatest player in baseball history.
Although Rose broke another legend's all-time record when he passed Ty Cobb on his way to establishing his hit mark, the former Reds and Phillies player quickly fell from grace after his playing career ended. The gritty, gamer led a checkered existence and, of course, was ultimately banned from the National Pastime for betting on his own team's games.
Many baseball artifacts have commanded large prices through the years— from Lou Gehrig's $451,000 uniform to Honus Wagner's $2.35 million baseball card to Mark McGwire's $3 million record 70th home run ball. Other more unusual items such as Babe Ruth's Sale Contract garnered almost $1 million and Joe DiMaggio's personal journal was listed with a $1.5 million starting bid.
But, seeing the Mizuno bat used by the controversial Rose listed for sale evoked thoughts of what other— shall we say, less conventional— artifacts might be in great demand?
Although these baseball memorabilia items may not commemorate a historic milestone, they surely would draw a great deal of interest due to the controversy surrounding them.
Here is a countdown of the 12 most desirable, off-beat baseball memorabilia should they be made available. Think of it as the list of items that would provide countless content for an MLB show produced by "TMZ" or "Inside Edition."