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By Erik Matuszewski
NEW YORK - The bloodstained sock worn by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling during the 2004 World Series will be put up for sale next month and may bring in at least $100,000, auction organizers said.
Schilling pitched with stitches in his right ankle to stabilize an injured tendon and helped lead Boston to its first World Series championship in 86 years. Blood from the wound seeped into his white sock, which has been on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, since 2004.
Schilling, 46, is putting the piece of Boston sports history up for auction eight months after his video-game company, 38 Studios LLC, went bankrupt and left Rhode Island taxpayers responsible for a $75 million state loan.
Chris Ivy, director of sports memorabilia at Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, said Schilling’s sock represents the “physical incarnation of the exorcism” of the so-called Curse of the Bambino, a jinx that Boston fans blamed on the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000 in 1920.
Heritage Auctions sold the so-called Buckner Ball in April for $420,000. The baseball rolled between the legs of former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner for an error that precipitated Boston’s 1986 World Series loss to the New York Mets.
“We thought this was a great opportunity to balance the scales and give collectors a chance to decide which moment is worth more,” Ivy said in a statement.
Schilling’s sock, worn in Game 2 of Boston’s World Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, will be put up for online bidding on Feb. 4, with a minimum price of $25,000. The sale will culminate with a live auction on Feb. 23 in New York.
Schilling had two bloody socks from games he pitched in the 2004 postseason. The one he wore during his Game 6 win against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series was thrown away. The image of Schilling’s bloodstained sock was transferred onto posters that hung throughout New England.
A six-time All-Star, Schilling retired from Major League Baseball in 2009 after a 23-year playing career.