Derek Jeter's 3,000 hit baseball didn't make it to the open market, but a ball that he didn't put into play just moments earlier is going up for bid. MEARS Online Auctions has announced that the family of a fan who snared a ball Jeter hit into the stands on the first base side has consigned the ball to them to see what it might bring.
The ball will be part of Milwaukee-based MEARS' monthly sports memorabilia auction that begins this weekend.
The 3,000 hit ball, believed to be worth between $150,000 and $250,000, was returned to Jeter by Christian Lopez, the fan who snared it as it dropped just in front of the left field grandstand after Jeter's home run at Yankee Stadium July 9.
Four balls specially marked by Major League Baseball were used during Jeter's at bat. According to MEARS, the first was hit foul into the backstop and picked up by a Yankees ball boy. The second ball is the one acquired by the father of the consignor, who had his right arm in a sling but managed to deflect the ball off his fingers and pounce on it in the stairway to the right of where he was sitting.
The ball displays the MLB Authentication "J1" stamp and a large black mark from Jeter's bat. MEARS examined the ball under a black light and discovered the covert three-digit number applied to discourage possible counterfeiting during milestone achievements.
Of the two other balls hit into foul territory, another was given to a young girl by a ball boy (although we wonder if that may have resulted in a groan or two from the Yankees and Steiner Sports, who would have liked to have yet another Jeter collectible to market). The whereabouts of the ball hit into the backstop haven't been revealed as of yet.
"With the actual hit ball safely in the collection of Derek Jeter, this lot presents the first public opportunity to own a game used baseball originating directly from the historic at-bat," reads a company description. "The actual ticket from the fan that caught the ball also accompanies this lot."
MEARS Online Auction opens July 22 and closes July 30.
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