Sometime during the Michael Jordan documentary series on ESPN, a fan sent actor Tony Todd a note asking if he still had the baseball bat signed by Jordan. The fan had remembered the actor posting it on social media. Todd, however, had forgotten all about it.
“When the guy mentioned it, I sprinted through the house like Carl Lewis,” Todd told noted baseball writer Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “I’m running around the house going, ‘Where’s the bat? Where’s the bat?’ I couldn’t find it.”
Then it dawned on him.
He went to the garage and checked the trunk of his 1966 Pontiac LeMans and found it where it had been stored for 13 years. Where it had been in the 13 years prior to that is unclear, but he’s had the autographed bat for 26 years.
Now he is ready to part with it, saying in a video made by Memory Lane, “I’m not a big-time collector. I’ve had the bat for 26 years. Now I want to give it to a real collector, someone who appreciates having a bat from the greatest basketball player of all time.”
He’s not exactly giving it away, of course. It’s up for auction at Memory Lane. The minimum asking bid was placed at $23,000. The auction runs through Oct. 10.
Jordan signed the bat and gave it to Todd after getting two hits in a game while playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 1994 Arizona Fall League.
Todd, in Phoenix for a charity event, had been invited to the game by William Fuller, a four-time NFL Pro Bowler who went to the University of North Carolina with Jordan. Afterward, they were invited to join Jordan in the locker room.
“A fan of the movie ‘Little Big League,’ the NBA icon signed his game-used bat and handed it over to the man who played Mickey Scales,” Memory Lane stated.
Todd played Mickey Scales in the movie that came out earlier that year.
The bat, a Louisville Slugger Model C271, was graded as a PSA/DNA GEM MINT 10, and the fact it is uncracked makes it “even scarcer because Jordan would almost never give away an uncracked bat,” the auction house stated.
“I’m not in desperate need to sell it, and I don’t want to give it way,” Todd told Nightengale. “But there can’t be that many Jordan bats signed.”
Hmm. Maybe we should all check our trunks.
Dave Strege is Editor of SCD. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.