The football Tom Brady threw to Terry Glenn for his first career touchdown pass during an October 2001 win as a member of the New England Patriots is going up for bid at Lelands on Sunday.
ESPN's Tom VanHaaren reported Friday the ball has been verified as authentic by a review of its markings, which matched those of a photo taken of Glenn in the end zone 20 years ago against the San Diego Chargers.
"You can see the exact marks where the writing on the ball in the photo matches the ball that we are about to offer," Lelands director of acquisitions Jordan Gilroy said. "It's incredible that there was a photographer that close to him at that moment in time. Everything in that scenario was perfect, and we definitely did our due diligence to make sure it is the one."
The anonymous seller, a longtime Patriots fan who's been attending games with his family since the 1970s, told VanHaaren he won a battle for the ball after Glenn threw it into the stands.
"It was a melee. I stood up on my seat, I pushed my buddy to my left," the seller said. "The other two guys, I handed them my beer in a gentle way. I jumped up, tussled with a group of other fans around me and I came down with the ball."
He originally kept the ball in his home, but he purchased a safety deposit box at his local bank after Brady led the Pats to the Super Bowl XXXVI title in February 2002. It was the first of six championships the quarterback won in New England before his move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. The seller is hoping the ball ends up in the right hands.
"Somebody that has a place that can put it on their mantel, tell the story of how they got the ball," he told VanHaaren. "My entire goal is to get it in the right fan's hands that will enjoy telling their family and friends that they have the ball. It's a piece of history you never see, but some of these great pieces of history need to be in the fans' hands, so I want to get it to the right person that will enjoy it the way I have."
The auction is scheduled to run through June 4.
Brady went on to capture his seventh Super Bowl title with the Bucs last season to further his case as the greatest football player in history, and he's shown no signs of slowing down at age 43.
Between the future Hall of Famer's GOAT case and the recent sports memorabilia boom during the coronavirus pandemic, the ball could command some eye-popping bids at auction.