I can’t believe what I just saw!
Is it just me, or does over half a million bucks for a bat from 1988 seem excessive? Because that’s what the bat Kirk Gibson used to hit his famous walkoff homer in the 1988 World Series went for last night. $575,912 to be exact. Other items sold: the batting helmet he wore ($153,388.80), his MVP award ($110,293.20), his World Series trophy ($45,578.40) and his World Series road uniform ($9,664.80).
I was unaware that players got their own World Series trophy. I also find it neat that someone paid nearly ten grand for a road uniform that never saw game action (Gibson, you’ll recall, did not play in the 1988 Series apart from that famous plate appearance). Of course, I stopped trying to find rationality in the prices people pay for sports memorabilia years ago.
Gibson is pocketing the money for the bat, the helmet and the jersey. Proceeds from the trophies are going towards his foundation. The guy who bought the bat can now show it to people who come over for parties and, ten seconds later, after they say wow and give some smiling nods, he can go refill their cocktails and wonder whether he’s getting his $575,000 worth.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.