Bat A-Rod used to notch first career major league hit up for auction
On July 9, 1994, an 18-year-old rookie with the Seattle Mariners stepped into the right-handed hitter’s side of the box at Fenway Park against Boston Red Sox pitcher Sergio Valdez. The young phenom with the incredible skills and at the time unrealized potential was Alex Rodriguez, and in his second big-league game, he hit a single for his first major league hit.
A sports memorabilia company based in California has put the the bat up for auction that A-Rod used for his first hit in what became a wildly successful — albeit extremely controversial — career. A spokesman for the auction house indicated that interest is growing again in Rodriguez-related memorabilia.
“Now that he has passed Willie Mays on the home run list and he has joined the exclusive 3,000-hit club, A-Rod is in collectors’ good graces again,” Terry Melia of SCP Auctions told the New York Daily News. “He’s not looked at in the same light as when he was suspended. He paid his dues and he is trying to earn back their admiration.”
Rodriguez not only has enjoyed a career renaissance on the field this season after serving a one-year suspension, he seems to have turned into something of a flawed antihero as well, both of which are developments no one could have possibly envisioned.
The bat, a black Louisville Slugger, features the inscription, “1st ML Base Hit.” It comes with a letter of authenticity signed by Rodriguez, on which he misidentifies the date as “7/8/94.”
Melia declined to provide the identity of the collector who bought A-Rod’s bat 20 years ago from Seattle-based Mill Creek Sports, but indicated that the seller believes market interest may never get any higher for memorabilia related to the disgraced slugger who has embarked upon a redemption tour the likes of which the world of baseball has never seen.
Bidding will open on the bat on Aug. 5 and end on Aug. 22. The initial price is set at $10,000 although it’s believed that it will sell for at least twice as much.