Skip to main content

New York Yankees prospect released over sports memorabilia scheme

A New York Yankees prospect has been released after allegedly stealing equipment from his minor-league teammates and trying to sell it as sports memorabilia.

A New York Yankees prospect blew a promising career after being released last week for allegedly stealing jerseys and equipment from his minor league teammates and trying to sell it online as sports memorabilia.

The New York Post and other media outlets reported that 24-year-old prospect Jake Sanford was released by the organization last week after a team investigation into the incident. A source told the post that Sanford had accepted money from collectors, but failed to deliver the items.

NJ.com reported that Sanford had been released by the Yankees “over allegations that he repeatedly hounded teammates for their equipment to sell online, while also occasionally swiping it from their lockers.”

Sanford, who played at Western Kentucky, received a signing bonus of $597,500 after being drafted in the third round of the 2019 MLB draft. After the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID, the outfielder split the 2021 season between Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley, batting .285 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI.

New York Yankees prospect Jake Sanford.

New York Yankees prospect Jake Sanford.

Also See: Ohio man charged with forging autographs on T206 cards 

According to Sports Collectors Daily, Sanford had been scamming collectors on Facebook collectors groups.

“Anyone wanna hear how I got scammed out of 600 by Jake Sanford of the Yankees? If he doesn’t pay up by tonight it will be over 2.5 months,” collector Matt Shea wrote on the Anything Goes Collectibles group on May 9, according to Sports Collectors Daily, which added that other collectors had been voicing similar concerns.

Sanford’s minor league bio has been deleted and his Twitter account has been deactivated. He has reportedly signed with the independent Ottawa Titans of the Frontier League.

Sanford was compared to longtime Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner when he was drafted, but the New York Post is now comparing him to Reuben Rivera, the prized prospect who was released by the Yankees during spring training in 2002 for allegedly stealing Derek Jeter’s glove and batting and selling them.