Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021

A million-dollar souvenir was given away by this fan

Imagine you're handed a treasure worth half a million dollars - but if you keep it, you'll become the most-hated man in town.That's essentially the..

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Imagine you're handed a treasure worth half a million dollars - but if you keep it, you'll become the most-hated man in town.

That's essentially the condundrum that faced 29-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan Byron Kennedy yesterday (AEDT), when he was unwittingly gifted one of the most priceless pieces of memorabilia in NFL history.

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Veteran quarterback Tom Brady threw a touchdown to wide receiver Mike Evans, becoming the first ever player to record 600 touchdown passes. Evans, however, seemed to have no idea of the milestone and instead handed the ball to Kennedy in the stands.



Instead, it was left to team officials and Brady to barter with Kennedy for the return of the ball - and this is where it gets tricky.

Despite being under no obligation to return the football, it's a situation where you can't really win. You return the football and you're compensated for only a tiny part of the value of what you're giving away, or you refuse and become the most-hated sports fan since Steve Bartman.

https://twitter.com/Buccaneers/status/1452430959291342852

In the end, Kennedy received a decent haul for his troubles. He got a different game ball, signed merchandise from both Brady and Evans, $1000 credit at the club store, and season tickets until the end of the 2022 season.

Brady himself reached out to cryptocurrency exchange FTX on social media, who pledged to also give the fan one Bitcoin, valued at $84,212 AUD.

https://twitter.com/FTX_Official/status/1452785248786386953

And while that haul might come close to a six-figure value, estimates have placed the ball that was given back to Brady was worth close to a million Australian dollars.

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Ezra Levine, CEO of Collectible, a sports memorabilia investment company said the ball could be worth "easily $500,000-plus, ($667,000 AUD)" but "closer to $750,000 ($1 million AUD)."

This isn't the first time a fan has been placed front and centre after aquiring a precious piece of merchandise.

In Major League Baseball, once a fan catches a ball in the stands, it's theirs.



In some cases, like with Christian Lopez, the man who caught Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, the fan gives the item back without asking. In that example, the Yankees rewarded him with luxury seats for the remainder of the season as well as some autographed bats, balls and jerseys and a 2009 World Series ring.

A fantastic haul, but still well short of the market value of the ball which at the time was worth $200,000 to $300,000 and would be substantially more than that now.

"I made the decision that was right for me. Still to this day, if it happened again, I'd do it the same way," Lopez said in 2015.

"The memories that were created from it were absolutely bar none. It's a nice little piece of history that I'm a part of."

In other cases, the fan isn't so willing. Zack Hample, a well-known fan who has caught over 10,000 balls at baseball stadiums, was the lucky recipient of Alex Rodriguez's 3000th hit a couple of year's after Jeter. He initially refused to return it, not matter the price.

https://twitter.com/zack_hample/status/612061267122102272

Two weeks later, Hample gave the ball to Rodriguez and the Yankees donated $150,000 to Pitch In For Baseball, a charity that Hample has supported since 2009.

He also received a signed Rodriguez jersey and bat.

But in Hample's case, he became public enemy number one for a fortnight. Countless pieces were written about him and his character as rabid fans demanded he return the ball - he also noticed the Brady controversy over the weekend.

https://twitter.com/zack_hample/status/1452386782495092743

The sports memorabilia market has become hyper-inflated in recent years, and huge milestone items from players like Brady are no joke.

Mark McGwire's record-breaking 70th home run ball of the season fetched $3 million ($4 million AUD) in 1999, while a Babe Ruth jersey from 1920 was sold for $4,415,658 ($5,889,758 AUD) back in 2012.

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By: wwos
Title: This fan gave away a million-dollar souvenir
Sourced From: wwos.nine.com.au/news/nfl-2021-tampa-bay-buccaneers-quarterback-tom-brady-makes-deal-with-fan-for-historic-600th-touchdown-ball/65643785-378d-4494-960b-f123830c0b56
Published Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 00:34:10 +0000

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