Even for a man noted for memorabilia sales, Pete Rose might have been surprised to see the price tag on the most recent memento attached to his name.
The New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions is selling the document that banned Rose from the game of baseball for a cool $100,000. That price includes the original five-page document, drafted by Major League Baseball and signed by Rose, which barred the all-time hits leader from baseball on Aug. 24, 1989. It includes letters of authenticity from Rose and Goldin Auctions.
"Anything that changes the sport, anything people are talking about 20, 30 years later, that people will be talking about 50 years later, is of monumental importance to sport collectors," Ken Goldin, head of the auction company, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Goldin started the company earlier this year, and upon opening his business, this was one of the first items he searched for. Goldin got in touch with Charlie Hustle himself, and Rose told Goldin that he didn't have the document but gave Goldin the name of the collector who was in possession. Goldin did not reveal to the Philadelphia Inquirer whether Rose had given the document away or sold it, but he did say Rose would not benefit from Goldin's sale of the contract.
The document, which went on sale Monday morning, will be available until Nov. 10.
The highest price ever paid for a baseball document is $996,000, when the owner of a New York memorabilia store bought the 1919 agreement that finalzed the sale of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees. But Goldin told the Inquirer that if anyone was to find the handwritten, signed confession that the Chicago Black Sox' Shoeless Joe Jackson made after fixing the 1919 World Series, that document could go for about $5 million.