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It's a bloody shame

Bankrupt Schilling forced to sell famous sock from 2004 Series

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NEW YORK -- A bloody sock worn by Curt Schilling while pitching for the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals was sold for $92,613 at a live auction on Saturday night at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion.

Schilling had loaned his sock to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum but when his Rhode Island-based video game company "38 Studios" went bankrupt, he decided to sell the sock that was bloodied as he pitched on an injured ankle.

Bidding began at $25,000 on Monday. Texas-based Heritage Auctions anticipated it would get more than $100,000.

An anonymous bidder submitted the winning bid.

"It's a one of a kind item, so it's really tough to gauge what kind of interest you're going to get," Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Auctions said. "Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle where a piece will take off like the Buckner ball. This particular time, it's the first time we sold a sock with blood on it so it's very hard to gauge what kind of final number it's going to end up."

Schilling helped end Boston's 86-year championship drought -- the "Curse of the Bambino" -- by pitching on an ankle that had been sutured more than once through the post-season. Pitching with a damaged tendon resulted in bleeding through the sock. Still, Schilling allowed only a run in six innings.

The right-hander made $114 million over an 18-year career with Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, Arizona and Boston but defaulted on a $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island.

Schilling's company was lured away from Massachusetts to Providence after Rhode Island's economic development agency in 2010 approved a $75 million loan guarantee. The company ran out of money less than two years later and filed for bankruptcy. Rhode Island is facing a tab of approximately $100 million related to the deal, including interest, and the agency is suing Schilling and others, saying it was misled.

Even with the large sale price, Rhode Island is not getting the proceeds from the sale. Schilling listed the sock as bank collateral in a bankruptcy filing in Massachusetts after investing roughly $50 million in the company and losing all his baseball earnings.

The sock up for sale was actually the second of two. The more famous one was stained when Schilling pitched through an ankle injury during Game 6 of the 2004 AL championship series against the New York Yankees; that sock is said to have been discarded at Yankee Stadium.

Schilling's sock was the second notable piece of Red Sox memorabilia to be auctioned off in the last year. The ball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in Game Six of the 1986 World Series was projected to sell for $100,000 but fetched $418,000.

The other marquee part of the auction was several 1980 Winter Olympic items from Mike Eruzione, who scored the game-winning goal for the U.S. Hockey team to the "Miracle on Ice" against Russia 33 years ago Friday. The team won the gold medal by beating Finland.

He was selling nearly everything except for his gold medal.

Besides the No. 21 jersey Eruzione wore when he scored the game-winning goal in the comeback victory over the Soviet Union, he sold his stick, the jersey from the "Miracle on Ice" game, his hockey pants, his hockey gloves and the sweatsuit worn at the gold medal ceremony.

The items were sitting in Eruzione's hockey bag for the last 33 years. His stick went for $262,900 and his jerseys went for $657,250 and $286,800 respectively.

"It was fun, obviously I don't know what's going to happen in something like this," Eruzione said.

Ivy said that Eruzione was interested in selling his memorabilia after seeing the jersey that Paul Henderson wore for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against Russia sell for over $1.2 million dollars last year.

Eruzione said that proceeds will be used to help his family and his charitable endeavours.

Other noteworthy New York Yankee and Red Sox items, included a $1,150 signing bonus endorsed by a 17-year-old Mickey Mantle that sold for $286,800 and two checks related to the purchase of Babe Ruth, which went for $95,600.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 24, 2013 B12

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