LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Fans of Cincinnati Reds legend Johnny Bench purchased a piece of the Hall of Fame baseball player’s legacy Saturday.
And some were willing to pay a lot of money for it.
Less than a month before his 73rd birthday, Bench decided to liquidate much of his memorabilia to fund the education of his two adolescent sons.
More than 400 pieces of Bench’s collection had been auctioned off Saturday virtually by Hunt Auctions. As of Thursday morning, $529,133 had been placed in early bids. Total sales on all the items fell just shy of $2 million.
Of the collectibles auctioned, the item that sold for the highest amount was an “exceedingly scarce and important” 1903 World Series program, with a winning bid of $215,000.
The second highest sold was a 1959 Willie Mays autographed San Francisco Giants professional model road jersey for $160,000. Right behind was a “historic and scarce” 1903 World Series Game 1 program for $128,700.
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Too pricey for you?
For $150, you could have picked up 1959 Kansas City Monarchs vs. Newark Indians advertising broadside.
Other items sold included commemorative bats from the Reds’ 1975 and 1976 World Series championships; Bench’s custom gold, diamond and ruby Reds logo belt buckle; his Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player plaques; and his 1975 and 1976 World Series Championships rings.
Contact Ben Tobin at firstname.lastname@example.org and 502-377-5675 or follow on Twitter @Ben__Tobin.