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Big League Stew

Homer Bailey’s no-hitter: Reds take great care to authenticate it

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(AP)

Homer Bailey threw a no-hitter Tuesday night, the first of the 2013 MLB season. Nearly 28,000 fans at Great American Ball Park saw Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds beat the San Francisco Giants 3-0. Many more thousands watched it happen on TV.

But how to prove it was real?

In an effort to keep it as real as possible, the Reds and Major League Baseball went to great lengths to authenticate items used by Bailey, catcher Ryan Hanigan and others during Bailey's second career no-no. That meant copious amounts of small hologram stickers and indelible ink to mark it all.

Reporter C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the details:

Jon Cline, the Reds’ equipment manager, was with Major League Baseball’s authenticator, a police officer, to run down what the team had collected.

“We basically told Homer to take everything off,” Cline said.

Strip down, Homer!

Here’s the list from Cline:


Bailey’s jersey
Bailey’s pants
Two pair of Bailey’s socks
Bailey’s shorts, worn under the uniform
Bailey’s undershirt
Bailey’s belt
Bailey’s glove
Bailey’s hat
Bailey’s cleats
16 baseballs
three sets of bases
home plate
pitching rubber
every game-prepared ball
bucket of dirt from the mound
Ryan Hanigan’s helmet
Hanigan’s chest protector
Hanigan’s knee pads
Hangian’s leg guards
Hanigan’s glove
Hangian’s leggings
Hanigan’s batting glove
Hanigan’s thumb protector
Lineup card
Duplicate lineup card
Dusty Baker’s lineup card
Giants dugout lineup card
Any game-used bat broken during the game
Bailey’s sweat towel

Because you never know when somebody might come along and claim that, no, Homer Bailey sweated here — and not there. Thankfully, the authenticator police didn't want to stamp Bailey's underwear. But there is more!

Great googlie mooglie. Between the sweat from the towel and the saliva inside of the Red Bull cans, those Homer Bailey clones should be done baking by the All-Star Game.

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(Getty)

All of these precautions are understandable for a good reason. As it relates to the memorabilia business, they help to prevent fraud at some later date by confirming that Hanigan's knee pads, for example, are the real deal in the event they are put up for sale on eBay. But the incessant stamping also confirms something unattractive about Bailey pitching a no-hitter, or any "big event": That every single solitary part of it might be up for sale someday.

It reminds me of the scene in "The Simpsons" episode poking fun at the animation art business:

Bart: Is this cel worth anything?

Comic Book Guy: Huh, let me show you something. This, this is a Snagglepuss drawn by Hic Hiesler, it is worth something. This, this is an arm drawn by nobody, it is worth nothing.

Bart: Can't you give me anything for it?

CBG: I can give you this telephone, it is shaped like Mary Worth.

Bart: Awww.

CBG: No groaning in my store.

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