Astros block auction of 2017 World Series ring, despite proceeds going toward coronavirus causes

A Houston Astros 2017 World Series ring was taken off the auction block Wednesday after the team intervened, citing a legal agreement with the ring’s recipient that gave it the right to buy the ring for one dollar over any secondary market.

Goldin Auctions, the auction house that was selling the ring received by former Astros scout David Brito, said in a statement that it would cancel the auction and return the ring to its consignor.

According to Goldin Auctions, the Astros still refused to allow the sale when told that the ring seller’s net proceeds and Goldin’s buyer premium would go toward coronavirus-related causes at Cooper Hospital and PPE at CAMCare health centers in New Jersey.

Ken Goldin, founder of the auction house, told Yahoo Sports that the team also declined to make a donation to the same causes in exchange for the ring, at which point he returned the ring to the consignor.

Per Goldin, Brito sold the ring in Feb. 2020 to a person who consigned it to Goldin, signing a bill of sale that stated there were no liens against the ring and he was free to sell it.

Goldin said he will still donate the amount of money he would have received personally from the sale to the hospital and health centers.

Cubs did something similar with 2016 ring

The Chicago Cubs employed a similar policy to the Astros when a scout tried to auction off his ring in 2017. However, that auction didn’t appear to benefit charity as Goldin said its auction was doing.

The Academy Awards also employ the same $1 policy, and the Emmys’ re-acquisition carries no compensation whatsoever.

However, Goldin said that the Cubs were previously the only other team to ever use such a policy, saying that the 2018 Boston Red Sox and 2019 Washington Nationals have not employed them. He also noted that another Astros 2017 World Series ring went up for auction in 2019 with no problems.

Since that sale went through, the 2017 Astros’ cheating came to light and its rings became among the most controversial pieces of hardware in baseball history..

Apr 3, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; View of the ring belonging to Houston Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan (not pictured) after the World Series ring ceremony at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
The Astros' World Series rings effectively have a value of $1 on the public auction market thanks to a team policy. (Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports)

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