Some people are either extremely passionate about their sports or they just have a lot of money to burn. In recent years, many unique pieces of sports memorabilia have hit the auction market. Some of these items have monetary value. Some have sentimental value. And then there’s former Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell’s toilet that apparently falls somewhere in between.
Andre Agassi’s long ponytail fetched thousands of dollars
Back in the late 1980s-early 90s, Andre Agassi was one of the biggest names in men’s tennis. Agassi captured the hearts of tennis fans with his long-flowing blonde hair and strong skill set. He went on to rack up 870 career wins in a 21-year career. He was the real deal.
What wasn’t real was his hair. Agassi later admitted he wore a wig to cover up his hair loss. That didn’t matter to Robert Earl, the restaurateur who founded Planet Hollywood restaurants, who spent thousands of dollars to put on display in his New York Official All-Star cafe.
After running a chain of Hard Rock Cafe restaurants, Earl and movie producer Keith Barish started Planet Hollywood in 1991. The Planet Hollywood chain now has tons of restaurants in the United States and overseas, including a handful of franchises and joint ventures.
Mickey Mantle auction in 1997 had several high-priced obscure items
In 1997, the estate of Mickey Mantle held a charity auction where proceeds went to a pair of Mantle’s favorite charities: the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps needy older ballplayers.
Among some of the items auctioned off were a lock of Mantle’s hair that fetched $6,900. Estate attorney Robert S. Fink characterized the selling of Mantle’s hair, credit card and passport as “ghoulish.” Mantle’s passport sold for $9,200, while his signed American Express platinum card brought $7,175. The identities of the buyers were not released.
Other unique Mantle items sold then were a tuxedo that Mantle wore at Billy Martin’s wedding. That went for $13,800, while Mantle’s boat sold for $33,350. All told, the final price of the entire lot was $541,880.
Art Modell’s toilet auctioned off as Cleveland Browns left town
The list of off-the-wall items auctioned off is endless. Such items include Curt Schilling’s bloody sock (sold for $92,613), David Ortiz’s beard ($10,877), Ty Cobb’s dentures ($7,475), and Nolan Ryan’s jock strap ($25,000).
Seattle Mariners pitcher once listed his bone chips from elbow surgery for sale on eBay. The bidding surpassed $23,000 before the auction site pulled the item off the market.
When Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell moved his team to Baltimore, the Browns had their own firesale at Cleveland Stadium. One fan purchased the toilet from Modell’s suite for $2,700.
Modell’s toilet wasn’t the only famous bathroom beauty to sell auction-style. In 2014, one fan purchased a urinal from the old Pontiac Silverdome for $23. The fan then brought the urinal to a local mall and asked Detroit Lions Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders to autograph it. The fan then auctioned off the signed Barry Sanders urinal for $3,000.