One lucky fan got to be a part of NFL history, but perhaps on the wrong side of it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady became the first to throw for 600 career touchdowns in a 38-3 win over the Chicago Bears Sunday night. The milestone came on a nine-yard pass to unwitting receiver Mike Evans, who handed the prized possession to a fan. Whoops!
Team officials responded by quickly approaching Byron Kennedy, a 29-year-old medical professional, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Kennedy told the Times that he was initially hesitant yet was willing to do so because of “how much it meant to Tom.”
While he received team gear for the exchange, it won’t be worth what he gave up.
Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions, estimates that Brady’s 600-touchdown ball is worth at least $500,000. Goldin says that most fans don’t understand the market value for these items since trading cards typically receive more mainstream media attention than sports memorabilia.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Goldin told Sportico. “And I wonder if the fan even knew the significance of the ball when it was handed to them.”
The Buccaneers negotiated a package with Kennedy after the incident gained national attention. He will receive two signed jerseys and a helmet from Brady, a signed Evans jersey and the receiver’s game cleats, a $1,000 credit at the team store, and two season passes for the remainder of this season and the 2022 season.
The half-a-million-dollar estimate is a conservative one, Goldin said, and he wouldn’t be surprised if someone bid as much as $900,000 if it was featured in a live auction, due to the historic nature of the event. To compare, Brady’s first career touchdown ball to Terry Glenn in 2001 against the then-San Diego Chargers sold for $428,842 by Leland’s this past summer.
And this latest item has more historical significance, since he’s the first NFL quarterback to accomplish the feat—with former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees drawing the closest at 571.
“I know I could call two or three people and sell that for $500,000,” Goldin said of Brady’s 600-touchdown ball.
The overall price of memorabilia related to the seven-time Super Bowl winner has predictably skyrocketed over the course of his storied career. Brady’s highest-graded rookie card sold for a record-breaking $3.1 million in June by Lelands, while over the weekend a signed playoff rookie card sold for $1.5 million by Goldin Auctions.
Brady, who holds the NFL record for quarterback wins, continues to be a leader in the sports collectibles industry. Goldin says the only living athlete that compares to Brady’s market demand when it comes to memorabilia is NBA legend Michael Jordan.
(The story has been updated in the fourth and seventh paragraphs to include information on Buccaneers’ memorabilia Kennedy later received.)