1998 Mark McGwire 51st Home-Run Ball with Documentation and Cardinals Dugout Lineup Card From the Game!
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $2,962.50
Addendum: In addition to the overwhelming provenance mentioned in the catalog description, this ball is also accompanied by a DVD showing Robert Dereme being interviewed after the game by a reporter from the local New York NBC News affiliate.
On August 20, 1998, 45,308 fans flocked to Shea Stadium for a twi-night doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals to watch history in the making. The main attraction that night was Cardinals' first baseman Mark McGwire, who had captured the nation by storm in his quest to become the first player to break Roger Maris' long-standing single-season home run record of 61. One of the fans in attendance that evening was Robert Dereme, a sales manager from Shirley, New York. It was Dereme who later caught McGwire's second home run of the day, his 51st of the year, which took place in the first inning of game two. Another person in attendance that evening was our consignor, who approached Dereme following his catch with an offer to purchase the ball. While no deal was made that night, the seeds were planted for a future transaction, which finally occurred less than two months later, when Dereme sold him the ball on October 19, 1998. Offered here is the very ball caught by Dereme that night: McGwire's 51st home run ball from his record-breaking 1998 season in which he hit 70 home runs. This is one of the most fully documented home-run balls we have ever seen. In addition to a one-page, typed-signed, notarized letter from Dereme attesting to its provenance (the letter can be viewed in its entirety online), the ball is also accompanied by a copy of a newspaper article, titled "Lucky Fans Catch a Piece of History," from the August 21, 1998, issue of the New York Post, in which Dereme is quoted extensively regarding his catch. (The article also quotes the other gentleman who caught McGwire's 50th home-run ball.) Further documentation includes our consignor's ticket stub from the game, and a photo of Dereme posing with the 51st home-run ball. The ball itself is an Official National League (Coleman) ball that displays use commensurate with its game-used status. Later that fall, our consignor attended a charity auction that included a number of Cardinals dugout lineup cards donated by then-Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. Luckily, one of the lineup cards in the auction was from game two of the doubleheader against the Mets on August 21st, which featured the added signatures of LaRussa, McGwire, and Mets catcher Mike Piazza (all black Sharpie; each grading "10"). Our consignor purchased the card at that time and it too is included in this collection. The lineup card (8.5 x 14 inches) remains in Excellent to Mint condition and is accompanied by a COA from Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation, signed by LaRussa. We have seen very few home-run baseballs accompanied by such compelling documentation, especially one with the added significance of dating to McGwire's historic 1998 season. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,962.50