By Ray Schulte, SchulteAuctions.com
On June 3, 2003, during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Sosa hit a shot toward second base and shattered his bat into two pieces. The umpire crew chief, Tim McClelland, picked up the bat handle and found cork in one half of the shattered bat. Sosa was immediately ejected and claimed he took his batting practice bat up to the plate by mistake. Major League Baseball confiscated Sosa's shattered bat handle, but the barrel's whereabouts were unknown, until recently.
During the commotion on the field that day, Cubs relief pitcher Mike Remlinger came in from the bullpen to the clubhouse and found the barrel of Sosa's bat on the floor of the clubhouse runway. The Cubs' bat boy must have collected the bat barrel and brought it into the clubhouse. Remlinger picked up the shattered bat barrel, put it in a bag in his locker and took it home.
Sosa gained national prominence in 1998 during his home run battle with Mark McGwire. Even though Sosa said he used the cork bat only during batting practice because he liked to put on a show for the fans, the question will always remain: Was he cheating when he hit any of those 505 home runs through June 3, 2003?
MLB confiscated more than 70 of Sosa's bats and conducted an investigation without finding any evidence he owned or used other corked game bats at that time.
Remlinger has had the barrel of Sosa's corked bat in his possession since that fateful game against the Devil Rays, and he recently consigned the corked barrel to Schulte Auctions.
The bat is part of Schulte Auctions October online auction. The game-used bat was authenticated by PSA/DNA, the vintage game-used memorabilia authentication company, and will come with a letter of authenticity from Remlinger.
|Julia Ruth Stevens and Jan Ruth McNamee
(Courtesy of Sports Legends Museum)
Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe's daughter, and Jan Ruth McNamee, Mamie Ruth's granddaughter, met for the first time at a Sports Legends Museum event Oct. 2.
Stevens currently resides in New Hampshire and Arizona while McNamee lives in Hagerstown, Md. Stevens and McNamee were excited to meet and reminisce about Babe and Mamie Ruth (Babe's sister). Both are extremely supportive of Sports Legends Museum.
At the event, Stevens participated in a question and answer session, followed by her signing autographs for everyone in attendance. Sandra Unitas, the late Johnny Unita's wife and another great supporter of the museum, was in attendance and was gracious enough to mingle and talk with all the event attendees at Sports Legends Museum.
Issue 154: October 2010