Earlier this week we learned that the glove Jeffrey Maier used to reach over the wall and pull in Derek Jeter's controversial home run during the 1996 American League Championship Series would be going up for auction this weekend. According to the Associated Press, the glove ended up selling for $22,705 to an anonymous collector on Saturday night.
Heritage Auctions says the glove was purchased by an anonymous collector Saturday night, with no mention of what the buyer plans to do with it. When Heritage announced the auction on Monday, it didn't identify the owner, who it said had purchased the glove from Maier.
The way we figure it, there are three groups of people who would likely be most interested in owning this controversial piece of baseball memorabilia.
Of course, seasoned sports memorabilia collectors would be most eager to follow the auction and see what type of deal they might get. Diehard fans of the New York Yankees probably wouldn't mind adding it to their collection as well because of it's unique place in franchise history. Then, there are Baltimore Orioles fans, who if given the opportunity might want to follow the Chicago Cubs example by destroying the evidence.
"Even to this day, almost 20 years after the fact, this glove still continues to elicit smiles from Yankees fans and curses from Orioles fans," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. "It's an innocuous enough little black leather Mizuno glove, but it still inspires big emotions and commanded a big-time auction price."
It's definitely one of those moments that will live forever in baseball lore. If Maier doesn't reach over the wall on Jeter's eighth inning fly ball and literally steal it from Baltimore Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco, the Yankees may have never tied Game 1 or gone on to win in extra innings.
It might be a reach to say it completely changed the series — New York won the series 4-1 before defeating the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in the World Series — but it definitely made the road more difficult for Baltimore. For that reason alone, it will never be forgiven or forgotten.
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