Baseball memorabilia is a very big deal in America. Baseball cards you’d expect to pull in good money; they are designed to be collectibles, after all. Fans of the sport, though, are seemingly willing to shell out big bucks for any item related to the game, and that’s how one of the best baseball players of all time comes to sell a disgusting, bloody sock to whoever can shell out the most cash.
Curt Schilling is known for two things: First, he’s a Hall of Fame pitcher, and second, after retiring from baseball, Schilling decided that he wanted to make video games. Thus, Schilling took a chunk of his not insignificant wealth and formed 38 Studios (née Green Monster Games). Being a smart man, Schilling opted to surround himself with talent, and as a result both fantasy author R.A. Salvatore and comic book wunderkind/action figure mogul Todd McFarlane were among those employed by 38 Studios. Though the firm was initially slated to produce massively multiplayer online roleplaying games — Schilling has long been publicly known as a devoted MMORPG player — the company was only able to release one game prior to its collapse: last year’s Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning.
From there, the story of Schilling’s game studio takes a dark turn. The case is too complex to cover here in full, but the end result is that 38 Studios fell apart, leaving debtors to pursue Schilling in court. Of these, the state of Rhode Island is undoubtedly the largest, and while exact figures are unknown, the Boston Globe claims that Schilling’s total amount owed to the state is in excess of $100 million.
As a retired baseball player and failed gaming industry CEO, Schilling doesn’t have $100 million lying around, so he’s turned to selling his stuff in an effort to recoup as much money as possible. Most notably, the bloody sock he infamously wore during the second game of the 2004 World Series (see above) is now slated to hit the auction block. As it’s a gory article of clothing, and was worn during the first World Series win the Red Sox had seen in 86 years, the sock is effectively invaluable to the right baseball fan, but Schilling believes that $100,000 for the footwear might be a conservative estimate of its final sale price.
If you’re intrigued by the thought of owning Schilling’s sock or would just like to help the man literally pay his debts in blood, you can bid on the item on February 23. That’s the date it’s scheduled to be on offer at the Fletcher-Sinclair mansion in New York City, alongside other baseball memorabilia including a cap worn by Lou Gehrig.