Before Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes shared in the championship jubilation of handshakes and hugs, he took care of business.
The ball used for the strikeout, which sealed his team’s first World Series win since 1988, is worth about $250,000, said Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions in New Jersey.
While it isn’t the Dodgers’ first title, this World Series capped a most unusual season shortened by a pandemic and completed in a so-called bubble.
“Some will see it as a novelty from—hopefully—a once-in-a-lifetime era and occurrence,’’ Goldin said in an email after the final out.
Players are becoming increasingly aware of the value of in-game memorabilia, particularly items used when championships are clinched.
Major League Baseball authenticates game-used memorabilia, including final-out balls. Historically, for marquee events like the World Series, MLB owns game-used balls and decides what to do with them.
Last season’s final-out baseball from the Washington Nationals’ title was worth about $500,000 because it was the franchise’s first championship.
“It’s surreal,” Barnes said after the game.