Former Yankees’ post-season hero Jim Leyritz is selling off what would appear to be his most valuable pieces of memorabilia, including the 1996 World Series Game 4 home run bat and ball that gave rise to the Yankees’ modern era dynasty. He’s consigned numerous items to Legendary Auctions where they’re currently up for bid.
One of the best clutch performers in postseason history who was later troubled by legal bills associated with his defense in a drunk driving case in which a woman was killed, Leyritz has also consigned these items from his career:
Current high bid on the ’96 World Series jersey is $6,000.
The first big moment for Leyritz in the post-season came in the ’95 ALDS when he hit an opposite field two-run home run in the 15th inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-5. The Yankees eventually lost the series but Leyritz wasn’t done providing the late game heroics.
In Game 4 of the 1996 World Series against the Braves in Atlanta, the Yankees trailed 6-3 and were down two games to none in the series when Leyritz belted a game-tying three-run homer. The Yankees eventually won the game 8–6 in 10 innings and the Series victory that year was the first of multiple titles for the Yankees during the 1990s and 2000s. Leyritz was seen as the catalyst for the incredible run of success the franchise enjoyed but his clutch post-season hitting still had a few years left.In 1998, Leyritz played for San Diego and hit a pair of important homers in the NL playoffs.
The following year, back with the Yankees, he hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th inning of Game 4 of the World Series, helping the Yankees to victory. It would be the final home run hit during the 20th century. The bat is among the items up for bid.
Leyritz faced an expensive three-year legal battle after being accused of vehicular manslaughter after a 2007 traffic accident. He was eventually acquitted in 2010 and charged only with drunk driving, but paid $350,000 to the victim’s family to settle a civil suit.
The auction is scheduled to close next week.