An auction house is selling a memento from one of the most heated exchanges in World Series history.
Dallas-based Heritage Auctions is selling a shard of the broken bat that New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens threw back at New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series. The auction house says the barrel of the bat was consigned by Jeff Mangold, who was the Yankees' strength and conditioning coach from 1984-88 and 1998-2006. Mangold took the bat piece after the game that night.
"I've had this for 13 years," Mangold said. "It was just sitting in my office and very few people knew about it. But I think this is an article of sports memorabilia that has some substance to it."
The leftover piece of wood still has "MIKE PIAZZA" clearly on it as well as the logo of Mizuno, which was the bat brand Piazza most frequently used throughout his career.
Three and half months after hitting Piazza with a pitch in the head, the two faced off in Game 2 of the "Subway Series" World Series that year. During the at-bat, Piazza broke his bat fouling off a pitch. While Piazza held on to the bat's handle, the barrel flew in between the pitcher's mound and the first base line. Clemens, later saying he originally thought it was the ball, picked up the bat and threw it in Piazza's direction. As the two approached each other, the benches cleared. Piazza then proceeded to ground out.
The moment turned into one of the highlights of a series that, in the end, lacked punch as the Yankees beat the Mets by a four games to one margin.
Bidding on the bat opened last week and currently sits at $4,481.25, but the auction house says the winning price could top $10,000 by the time bidding culminates in a live auction that will take place in New York on Feb. 22.