Old Yankee Stadium letters fail to sell

The letters that sat atop the old Yankee Stadium, offered in an auction at Sotheby's in Manhattan on Wednesday night by former New York Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson, failed to draw a bid.

The highest bid in the crowd was $280,000, placed by a Sotheby's employee on behalf of Jackson in an attempt to spur other offers. There were no other bidders for the letters, Sotheby's spokesman Darrell Rocha said.

The 13 letters, each of which stand 10 feet tall, were purchased for an undisclosed sum by Jackson after the stadium's last game in 2008. The letters had been on the stadium since 1976, a year before Jackson arrived in the Bronx and became "Mr. October."

Jackson, who was in attendance, told the crowd that he bought the letters "on a lark" and joked that, once he saw the height of the letters, he might have made a mistake in purchasing them.

Before the auction, Jackson said that as long as the winning bidder was in the country, he would fly to see the letters displayed by the new owner.

The auction house had estimated the letters were worth $300,000 to $600,000.

The other sports item in the auction was a New York Mets bullpen car from the late '60s. The car, which the auction house estimated to be worth $20,000 to $30,000, commanded a surprising winning bid of $112,500.