Gregory Polanco made his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, and the results were mixed. Polanco went 1 for 5 with a run scored and a strikeout, and he misplayed a tough (for a rookie in his first game) fly ball in right field in a 7-3 loss to the Cubs at PNC Park. So, he wasn't quite "the next Darryl Strawberry," or "Dave Parker with more speed," as he's been unfairly billed, but greatness still might come if we give him time.
That said, Polanco will have only one "first MLB jersey," and the one he wore and autographed was up for auction at MLB.com. At least two parties want it — real bad. Bidding, which ended Wednesday shortly after at 5 p.m. ET, went to $26,100! For comparison's sake, the jersey of Andrew McCutchen — who has some All-Star games under his belt — went for a modest $3,220. Most, if not all of the Pirates, put their jerseys up for bid. Clint Hurdle, too, along with favorite son Neil Walker. The web site says Pirates Charities will benefit from the sales.
Hey, if the Pirates were willing to pay off Polanco for his arbitration years plus at least a year of free agency for $25 million now, it means memorabilia collectors aren't the only ones who think he's going to be something special. And perhaps it's Polanco himself, or someone on his behalf, doing the bidding. It's his first jersey, after all, and kind of too bad he's got to surrender it — even for a good cause.
Good news: The Cubs and Pirates were wearing their camouflage-style jerseys to support military appreciation night at PNC and — even if that's a good cause, too — the jerseys are relatively unattractive. The next one will be nicer, just like Polanco's results (the Bucs hope).
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