KANSAS CITY — With his large collection of baseball memorabilia gathering dust in a storage unit, former Kansas City Royals ace Bret Saberhagen decided to auction off his two Cy Young awards, 1985 World Series ring and MVP trophy and dozens of other items to raise money for his charity.
Saberhagen initially brushed off an offer to sell the assortment of trophies, jerseys and game-used baseballs he collected over his 16-year professional career. Then he realized it would make more sense to sell the memorabilia to people who really wanted them and use the proceeds for a more worthy cause. The proceeds will go to The Bret Saberhagen Makes A Difference Foundation and his four children.
The pitcher listed 77 items for auction at SCPAuctions.com, where other sports legends also have placed personal items up for bid, the Kansas City Star reported.
"I still have that competitive fire in me," Saberhagen said, "So to have Steve Garvey and Rollie Fingers and (John) Havlicek and a few other guys with stuff up on the auction, I slip from mine to theirs to see who's doing better."
Saberhagen spent half of his career in Kansas City, where he won two Cy Young Awards, a Gold Glove and the 1985 World Series MVP trophy. Those items are among the 77 in his auction catalog that also include game-used jerseys, baseballs, his All-Star Game bats and his high school basketball and baseball jerseys.
As of Thursday, his two Cy Young awards had received the highest bids, both at $19,965, while his 1985 World Series ring was sitting at $19,489. His World Series MVP trophy had a high bid of just under $10,000. On the low end, some baseballs and assorted All-Star awards have bids of just over $100. Bidding ends Saturday.
In his eight seasons with the Royals, Saberhagen won 110 games before being traded to the New York Mets. He also pitched for the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox, winning a total of 167 games in his career.
Saberhagen said it wasn't hard parting with any of the items, though he gave his four children a chance to take what they wanted.
"It was a little tough for my mom more than anybody," he said. "She basically said, 'Why are you doing this?' I said, 'Mom, what's this stuff going to do? I'm going to eventually pass away and it's all going to be sitting in boxes.'
"Now it's great, because somebody who really wants it is going to be able to cherish it and do what they want with it. So I'm excited about whoever ends up getting this stuff."