The online auction for the Jose Bautista “Bat Flip” home run ball closed last night with the ball selling for nearly three times the anticipated amount.
The historic piece of Blue Jays memorabilia opened for auction on the 4th of January with a reserve price of $3500. The ball garnered 11,762 views which resulted in17 bids, including four bids in the final hour and two in the final minute of the online auction that was housed by Lelands Auction House.
It was initially estimated the ball would fetch in the neighborhood of $8000, however, when the auction ended at 10 pm eastern last night the ball had sold for a record $28,252.80. The bidder’s identification were all private so it is unknown if the ball will remain in Canada at this point in time.
The ball was being sold by a private collector who had initially purchased the ball from the original owner, Jeff Byma. The Cambridge native kept the ball for approximately two years before selling and even offered it back to slugger Jose Bautista.
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The baseball is truly one of the most treasured pieces of Blue Jays memorabilia, however, $28,000 is a lot of cake for a scuffed up baseball. The new owner obviously had some disposable income lying around to make that kind of purchase.
The Bautista bomb may be even more significant than the Joe Carter walk-off homer just solely due to the circumstances and atmosphere leading up to the round tripper. It was arguably the greatest game in Blue Jays franchise history and Bautista capped it off with the “Bat Flip” that united a baseball nation.
I am sure we will learn who the lucky new owner is in the coming days and where the ball will spend its coming days.
But who knows…..
Maybe, Sam Dyson purchased the ball as part of a cleansing process to rid himself of the baseball demons from that fateful night in October.