A ring that is believed to be Joe DiMaggio's from the 1951 World Series is up for sale in New York.

While it's impossible to verify that the ring did indeed belong to DiMaggio, the New York Post is reporting that a ring with Joltin' Joe's name etched inside it could fetch between $50,000 to $100,000 on the market.

Sports-memorabilia auctioneer David Hunt told the Post that DiMaggio passed on the original design of the ring in 1951, telling the salesman that he wanted something different. And so for decades, the ring was held by the family of an executive of the Dieges & Clust jewelry company.

Others, including DiMaggio's lawyer and friend Morris Engelberg, believe the ring might have been stolen during a heist of DiMaggio's room at the Lexington Hotel in the early 1960s.

The bidding is underway at Hunt Auction's website and will last until Nov. 9.

(H/T to Off the Bench)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

In the spirit of stats such as WAR, VORP and others sabermetric breakdowns, the PAS -- President Athlete Score -- was created to determine the Most Athletic U.S. President. Teddy Roosevelt placed in the top 5 overall, but his devotion to the martial arts was one of his distinguishing achievements. Here's a closer look at the man who was president from 1901 to 1909, and then made another run for the Oval Office in 1912 on the ticket of the Bull Moose Party.


When most presidents take a beating, they do it in the headlines, not in a headlock. Teddy Roosevelt preferred the literal version. During his political career, he voluntarily subjected himself to a staggering number of brutal sparring sessions with championship-caliber fighters. Boxers; wrestlers; martial artists -- it didn't matter to Roosevelt. If they'd be willing to punch him in the face or pin him to the ground, he'd take them on. He felt it was the only way he could maintain his "natural body prowess." Imagine Barack Obama having Sugar Shane Mosley over to the White House Gym for some heavy bag work and shadow boxing; or George W. Bush rolling around an Oval Office octagon with Brock Lesnar. That's the level of commitment we're talking about with Roosevelt. And this obsession started long before he was elected president.

While Roosevelt was governor of New York, he found out that the American middleweight wrestling champion was training in Albany. The instant he heard the news, he summoned the wrestler to the Governor's Mansion. After a short conversation, the wrestler agreed to come over three or four afternoons a week to train him. Roosevelt, who was in his early 40s at the time (nearly double the age of the wrestler), looked forward to his training sessions so much that he eventually bought a wrestling mat for the workout room. While neither combatant had a problem with the wrestling mat, Roosevelt's Comptroller did, and he refused to audit the bill for the mat, claiming that wrestling wasn't "proper Gubernatorial amusement."

"I am very glad I have been doing this Japanese wrestling, but ... My right ankle and left wrist and one thumb and both great toes are swollen sufficiently to more or less impair their usefulness, and I am well mottled with bruises elsewhere. Still I have made good progress, and since you have left they have taught me three new throws that are perfect corkers."
-- Teddy Roosevelt,
1904, in a letter to his sons following a judo lesson on the campaign trail.

The Comptroller suggested a billiards table, but unless Roosevelt was going to learn how to sword fight with the pool cues, it appeared he wasn't interested in the stationary sport. When the wrestler had to leave Albany, he felt bad that Roosevelt wouldn't have anybody to spar with, so he volunteered a friend who was a professional oarsman. During his second training session with the oarsman, Roosevelt caved in the poor guy's ribs and then suffered his own shoulder injury. With both of the men bloodied and bruised, they decided it might not be best for the Governor of New York to look like he was squaring off against Bill the Butcher every other day. Once Roosevelt recovered, he went back to his first love: Boxing.


Roosevelt's boxing career began the same way Mike Tyson's did: With an ass-kicking at the hands of bullies. Tyson had a speech impediment. Roosevelt had asthma. Both afflictions made these future pugilists appear weak and ripe for bullying. In Tyson's case, he learned early on that he was born with cinder blocks for fists and that he could punch his way through the young boys who would taunt him. Eventually, the taunting stopped, and the cheering began.

Roosevelt wasn't born with a natural ability to fend for himself. In fact, he was born the opposite. As a child, he was more like Samuel L. Jackson's Mr. Glass in "Unbreakable" than the eventual Rough Rider he would become. Here's how the future president describes himself as a child in his autobiography: "Having been a sickly boy, with no natural bodily prowess ... I was at first quite unable to hold my own when thrown into contact with other boys of rougher antecedents. I was nervous and timid."

Full Story >>

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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

MLB, Pete Rose

Before there was Steve Bartman, there was Jeffrey Maier.

Maier, the 12-year-old boy who reached over the wall in right field during Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS to snag what was then ruled to be a Derek Jeter home run, is now grown up and able to contextualize the moment for which he will always be remembered. And with the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles squaring off in the playoffs for the first time since that series, there is perhaps no better time to reflect on his 15 minutes of fame.

“I’ve definitely heard from more people this week than I have in quite some time," Maier told the New York Daily News. "It’s fun and I embrace it and try to have fun with it."

Jeter's home run in the eighth inning tied the game at 4, and the Yankees went on to win the contest in the 11th inning and the series in five games. That year, the Yankees won the first of their four World Series titles in a five-year span.

Meanwhile, the Orioles made the playoffs in 1997 before suffering through 14 consecutive losing seasons.

Maier went on to have an extremely successful career on the diamond at Wesleyan University, becoming the university's all-time hits leader. He was never drafted but he did work out in front of several major league clubs (including the Yankees). Now, Meyer works as the director of sales for the Internet company League Apps, which makes mobile applications, websites, online registration and management software for adult recreational sports leagues.

While Maier, who has been married for four years and has two children, said his catch might have been part of the reason that Major League Baseball instituted video replay on home runs, he noted that human error is still prevalent among umpires.

"It certainly might have made a difference, but then you watch a game like (Friday) night (between Atlanta and St. Louis) with the infield fly call, these judgment calls you realize always will be part of the game and nothing in life is perfect," Maier told the Daily News. "As a former player, I know that umpires certainly aren’t, either. It’s one of those things that to me, the purity of the game is what makes the game so great. I’m actually not in favor of more instant replay. It’s a great game and it should be played the way it’s played."

Maier, now 28 years old and living in northern New England, has no plans to attend any games during the Yankees-Orioles series. While his catch ignited a firestorm across the league but especially in Baltimore, he says he has come to terms with his place in history.

"It’s a play that whether or not it matters to me, it’s a play that’s important to the Yankees and it has a place in the history of the game," Maier said. "I’ve embraced that. I’m not looking to write a book about it or anything. But I think it’s a unique play."

For more exclusive interviews with Jeffrey Maier, click here for Big League Stew

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>