ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – How would you like to own baseballs involved in key hits in the Cardinals Opening Day victory?
Well now you can, thanks to the Cardinals Authentics Program. Ashley Brown is basically the team’s director of dirty baseballs.
“Bases, baseballs, bats, jerseys, helmets,” said Brown, when asked what game-used items are available for sale.
“The shear fact that somebody can come and get a piece of history, and commemorate some kind of milestone in their own life while still celebrating the players and the Cardinals, that’s what it’s all about,” said Brown.
Here’s how it works. Game-used items, like baseballs, are removed from the field several times each game and verified by an official authenticator immediately.
“As soon as it comes off the field, it is hologrammed with a sticker,” said Brown. “We document what that hologram stands for.”
Those items are then transported to the Cardinals Authentics shops, one in Ballpark Village and one inside Busch Stadium, packaged up, and turned into merchandise.
Brown said one thing you will never find in the Authentics shops is a home run ball. That’s because after the ball goes over the fence and out of sight of the authenticator, he or she cannot vouch for its authenticity.
On Opening Day, Brown said they sold several bases. And some balls from key hits.
“We got Hazelbaker's triple,” she said. “I know we got Diaz' double; I want to say we've have Holliday's double.”
Opening Day game-used baseballs go for $100 each. Regular-season game-used baseballs will cost you about 40 bucks. Opening Day bases will cost you about $350 each. Regular season bases are about $225… unless something special happens on one of them.
Then, like Cardinal memories, they come at a premium.