Former Detroit Tigers outfielder and coach Kirk Gibson announced that he'll be auctioning off memorabilia from his 1988 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The bat Gibson used to hit a game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of that year's World Series is among the items available for bid.
Gibson's National League MVP trophy will also be auctioned off, in addition to his World Series trophy and several home and away uniforms from that season.
Why auction off all this stuff? Gibson, currently the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, says it's not for the money. Letting collectors enjoy and display this memorabilia is good for baseball, as Gibson sees it. For instance, that home run bat has "so much character in it."
"If you look at the handle on the end of that bat, there's an 'x' because it was a reject. I really only got it because it was so light, I was hurt, so I started to get that ready," he said. "The cleat marks at the head of the bat where I hit my shoes, there's indentations at the beginning of the bat. At the end of the bat, it was so deep, there's really deep indentations, the red ink from the foul balls I hit is on it. You can actually see the spot where I made contact with the ball. It's preserved very well."
(However, the home run ball, as CNBC's Darren Rovell points out, is still out there somewhere. No one has ever claimed to have it, or offered the ball up for sale.)
Proceeds from the sale of the MVP and World Series trophies will go toward the Kirk Gibson Foundation, which funds scholarships at MIchigan State and the high schools where his parents worked.
You can read more about the auction here. It will be held online from October 27th to November 13 by SCP Auctions, Inc.
Tigers fans might wonder, however, whether any of Gibson's stuff from his days in the Old English D will be up for auction. How about that, Gibby?
"Not right now," Gibson said on a conference call. "This is kind of a first step. We'll see how this goes. I've retained all my Tiger stuff right now. I just have my reasons. We'll just leave it at that."
Perhaps there's a bit more sentimental value attached to that Tigers stuff, given that Gibson grew up in Michigan and played 12 of his 17 seasons in Detroit. For now, Gibson isn't saying.