Incredibly, these items were really auctioned off--people actually saw value in them:
1. Pontiac Silverdome urinal signed by Barry Sanders
In an auction of leftover items from the Pontiac Silverdome in 2014, a man purchased a urinal from the home team’s locker room for $23, an odd purchase in itself.
But Mike Kozan, a Detroit Lions fans who already had a signed jersey, hat and football from Barry Sanders, decided as a joke with his girlfriend to try to get Detroit’s former star running back to sign the urinal, as ESPN revealed.
After hesitating, Sanders finally did sign it.
A year later, Kozan put the signed urinal on eBay where it sold for $3,000 with 17 people placing 46 bids. Kind of a scary thought about how much interest there was for a urinal signed by Sanders.
Photo: Mike Kozan
2. Joe Frazier’s jockstrap worn during Fight of the Century
The jockstrap Joe Frazier wore in the famous bout in which Smokin’ Joe defeated Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971 was sold at Goldin Auctions in 2016. FOR $10,200!!!
Why? Why would anybody purchase such an item?
We don’t know, but we do know that David Wolf, a friend of Frazier’s who was in his corner, asked for and received the athletic supporter after the fight, and he kept it in a “carton” in his apartment. After he passed, it was found with various audio tapes and the jock that was in the same condition as when it was removed.
Again, we ask, why?
But wait, there’s more. A jockstrap purported to have been worn by Nolan Ryan during his seventh no-hitter reportedly went for $25,000 at auction. Ugh.
Photo: Goldin Auctions
3. Ty Cobb’s dentures
Karen Shemonsky, a daughter of a retired dentist and a self-described “sports nut,” paid $7,475 for Ty Cobb’s dentures in a Sotheby’s auction in 1999, after seeing the pre-auction estimate of $300-$500.
“When I saw that, I said to my husband, ‘That’s not bad for a piece of history,’” she said at the time. “It caught my eye. It’s so odd, so different.”
A couple years later, Shemonsky loaned the dentures to the Baseball Hall of Fame, where they were on display for five months.
Photo: Baseball Hall of Fame
4. MLB player’s chewed gum
That’s right, in 2002 someone actually bought the Bazooka bubble gum chewed by former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez. That is surprising enough, but the real shocker is how much that someone paid for it in an auction that benefitted a high school in Minnesota: $10,000. Really? Yes, really.
Turns out, the winning bidder (as was the losing bidder) was in it for the PR, according to ESPN. Still, chewed gum?
5. Twinkie autographed by David Price
American Cy Young Award winner David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays signed a Twinkie for a fan who later sold it on eBay for $56 in 2012. Price confirmed he had signed the Twinkie, and was later asked via tweet about the weirdest thing he ever signed. He replied, “Infant’s forehead with black sharpie.”
6. Tom Seaver’s toothpick
Instead of chewing tobacco, former New York Mets star pitcher Tom Seaver used to chew on toothpicks during the glory days of the late ‘60s. Seems Seaver gave a warm-up jacket to a friend who discovered a used toothpick in one of the pockets. The toothpick came with a LOA from Tom Terrific himself.
And it sold for $440 in an auction with Lelands.
7. A gallon jug of (Michael) McJordan BBQ sauce
A former owner of a McDonald’s in North Dakota happened save an unopened gallon jug of McJordan BBQ Sauce used for the McJordan sandwich in 1992 and wondered how much it could be worth 20 years later.
So, with help from his daughter, he put it on eBay in 2012 and netted an amazing $9,995. Imagine had he held on to it until 2020 when ESPN’s documentary “The Last Dance” came out. No telling what the price he might have gotten.
8. Fine art from Andrew Luck
An “awesome” drawing from former QB Andrew Luck of Lucas Oil Stadium, home to his Indianapolis Colts, was put on auction at eBay in 2012, at the beginning of Luck’s career, and it did remarkably well.
The Panini America Original NFL Player Sketch Card from Luck, a 1-of-1, fetched $1,500. The buyer had to have been a cardboard prospector, who was probably hoping Luck would be the next Tom Brady. Wonder what it might bring today, considering Luck retired early without any Super Bowl successes.
9. Pete Rose-signed baseball with very bizarre message
A ball signed by former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose was auctioned off for $107 by Heritage Auctions. Rose, who was banished from baseball for betting on the sport, included a very strange message: “I’m sorry I shot J.F.K.”
Rose has also signed baseballs “I’m sorry I bet on baseball” and “I’m sorry I broke up the Beatles.”
One word: Weird.
Photo: Heritage Auctions
10. Piece of cake from Joe DiMaggio’s first wedding
A piece of 53-year-old wedding cake from Joe DiMaggio’s first marriage—to actress Dorothy Arnold—sold for $715 at a Lelands auction in 1992. Twelve years later, the buyer put one of the white wedding roses from that piece of cake on auction. It went for $150. No word of the condition of the remaining piece of cake, aside from being stale.
Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images