NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The jersey Mike Piazza was wearing when he hit his iconic post-9/11 home run has reportedly been purchased, but it won’t disappear into some deep-pocketed collector’s living room.
Three men have reached an agreement with Goldin Auctions to purchase the jersey for $355,000, the New York Post reported Thursday. The jersey will be rotated between Citi Field, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the report said.
A LOOK BACK: Piazza Recalls First Post-9/11 Game
The sales price is a record for a modern day jersey, surpassing the $303,000 spent on the jersey Kirk Gibson wore when he hit his famous pinch-hit home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series.
On Sept. 21, 2001, in the first baseball game played in New York following 9/11, Piazza hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to seal a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. That moment has been widely credited for lifting the spirits of many New Yorkers following the attacks on the World Trade Center.
The jersey was brought to Goldin Auctions by the world’s biggest Mets collector, who purchased the jersey from the team in a private auction three years ago. The collector had since loaned the jersey to the Mets to display in their Citi Field museum.
“I’ve expressed my feelings to Jeff (Wilpon) and the Mets,” he told the Post. “And while it never should have left Citi Field, they have assured me that contact with the seller has been made and they are making a concerted effort to get the jersey back. I’m hopeful that an agreement can be reached and we can give back to the fans and all New Yorkers a piece of that evening that was more than just a game.”
The Mets admitted they made a mistake by selling the jersey and said they would try to buy it back. Piazza’s father, Vince, also tried to purchase it and donate it to the baseball Hall of Fame before the asking price got too steep.
Bidding began April 4 and was scheduled to end April 30.
Ken Goldin, president of Goldin Auctions, told the Post his company had never sold an item before an auction closing date but that he was willing to make an exception if the buyer agreed to donate the jersey.
The buyers are Anthony Scaramucci, Tony Lauto and an anonymous third business partner, all Mets fans. Scaramucci is the founder of Skybridge Capital and host of the Fox Business Network’s “Wall Street Week,” and Lauto is a former head trader at Goldman Sachs. The three partners also own a small slice of the Mets.
As CBs2’s Otis Livingston explained, the jersey has real significance to the three Wall Street guys.
“We had too many friends die in those buildings to let that jersey go anywhere else,’’ Scaramucci told the Post. “Tony and I wanted to make sure that jersey stays in New York.”
The buyers made a deal that the jersey will spend time at Citi Field, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Scaramucci said he spoke with Piazza, who told him that Vince is very happy.
Piazza was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in January. He will be enshrined in July.
At his Hall of Fame news conference, he spoke about his legendary home run.
“It’s tough because I get emotional thinking back at that week,” he said. “I mean, anybody knows who was there, it’s something you can’t define. It changed all of our lives, not at a baseball level, but personally for me. I mean, it really put my life in perspective and focused what the important things in life are, and that’s family and friends and relationships.
“To be, for me, at the right place at the right time and come through, I can only think it comes from above and a lot of people who put wind under my wings. That was a special moment for me.”