Buckner Ball beats estimate by 318.2% at baseball auction
The Buckner Ball from the 1986 World Series made $418,250 at a Dallas baseball auction on May 4
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 8 May 2012
The infamous "Buckner Ball" from the 1986 World Series has sold for $418,250 at an auction in Dallas, beating its $100,000 estimate by 318.2%.
The ball was the very one that Boston first baseman Bill Buckner let slip through his legs in the extra innings of game six of the Red Sox's series against the New York Mets, enabling Ray Knight to score the winning run.
The Mets went on to win game seven, Bill Buckner went into the annals of baseball history, and the Red Sox would have to wait a further 18 years to win their first World Series since 1918.
It was signed by the Mets player who hit the winning run, Mookie Wilson, in the aftermath of the game six victory.
The auction house's director of sports memorabilia, Chris Ivy, says that it is considered by many to be "the most famous single play in American sports history".
The ball was previously owned by the actor Charlie Sheen, who purchased it at auction in 1992; it came to this sale as part of the collection of songwriter Seth Swirsky.
There were several other indications of the strength of the baseball memorabilia market at the May 4 auction.
The ball hit by Reggie Jackson for his third home run in the 1977 World Series trebled its $20,000 estimate to make $65,725, while the home run ball hit by Babe Ruth to become the Home Run King in July 1921 sold for $25,095.
The sale also featured a collection of eight balls signed by Ruth during his last public appearance in 1948, including an 8.5 graded specimen which made $77,675.
"For the better part of six-and-a-half decades these baseballs have been stored in a climate-controlled safe deposit box and have emerged effectively unchanged from their encounter with the dying baseball icon," remarked Ivy.
The auction record for a baseball stands at the $750,000 achieved for the ball Barry Bonds hit to break Hank Aaron's home run record in 2007.
A unique example of the Honus Wagner baseball card is appearing at an auction in New Jersey, US, which ends on May 12. We will bring you the result here.
For collectors looking to invest in historic sporting memorabilia, you can find our superb selection of autographs and signed items here.
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Images: Heritage Auctions