Reds auction blood-stained Samardzija ball
The Reds' team website auctioned off a baseball stained with the blood of Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija during an April 24 game at Great American Ballpark.
It didn't exactly have the cachet -- or the sale price -- of the bloody sock worn by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, but the Cincinnati Reds gave fans a chance to own another blood-stained piece of baseball memorabilia.
The Reds' team website auctioned off a baseball stained with the blood of Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija used during an April 24 game at Great American Ballpark. The auction, which opened Tuesday, closed Friday morning with a high bid of $130.01. It's uncertain how many bids were placed. A call to the Reds' auction site was not immediately returned.
"It's pretty exciting. I remember looking at that ball, wondering what was going to happen to it," Samardzija said Friday. "I was hoping the umpires didn't see it. I don't know, it's pretty interesting. Somebody who gets it has to be a pretty intense fan. That's for sure."
Samardzija cut his hand reaching for a high-hopper over the mound off the bat of the Reds' Shin-Soo Choo in the first inning of that game. Samardzija wiped blood from the cut on his finger on his pants and got it on at least one baseball, too. He pitched six innings in a 1-0 loss.
"There's very rare times in sports that you can show you can play through different things," Samardzija said. "Sometimes freak injuries are the best way to do it, to show how you feel about playing this game and playing for your team. I wasn't going to come out of that game. I'm just excited they let me stay in and keep playing."
The ball listed on the Reds' auction site is described as one coming off a pop foul off the bat of Reds shortstop Zack Cozart.
"There was one that had the most intense amount of blood on it for sure because it lasted about five or six pitches," Samardzija said. "I had more opportunity to get a little bit more action on it. I think that was the one if they kept it. I don't know how they got it, but it's pretty crazy."
Samardzija joked about the potential for identity theft with his DNA on the ball.
"I don't know what you're going to be able to do with it, hopefully nothing too serious. I don't think they can lift my identity from it," Samardzija said. "I guess we'll have to take a look at it."
Schilling's bloody sock, worn during Game 2 of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, sold for $92,613 during an auction in February. That was the second of two bloody socks worn by Schilling during that postseason. The more famous bloody sock was worn during Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees when Schilling was pitching on an injured ankle, but that was believed to have been lost at Yankee Stadium.
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine contributed to this report.
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