Own baseball history: the infamous Clemens-Piazza bat

Own baseball history: the infamous Clemens-Piazza bat
January 30, 2014, 11:45 pm
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You can own one of the oddest pieces of baseball history. The sawed-off bat belonging to Mike Piazza from the 2000 World Series is being sold by Heritage Auctions. You have until Feb. 22 to get in your bid.

For those who may not remember, let’s recount the story behind this piece of lumber.

We had a Subway Series in 2000, and in Game 2, Roger Clemens was pitching for Yankees. Mets catcher Mike Piazza fouled off a pitch and broke his bat. Piazza was left with just the splintered handle in his hands. The barrel flew off toward the mound. Piazza, not initially sure where the ball went, started running to first base. Clemens picked up the bat and threw it in Piazza’s direction (watch here).

Clemens offered the bizarre explanation that he thought the bat was the ball. No one thought it made any sense then, and it still doesn’t. How do you mistake a bat barrel for a ball, and if it’s a ball, why do you throw it at the guy running to first?

With Clemens having been linked to PED use, you might be inclined to think of ’roid rage as just as likely an explanation.

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So it turns out that former Yankees strength coach Jeff Mangold had been holding on to the half-a-bat before deciding to sell it.

“I’ve had this for 13 years,” Mangold told ESPN. “It was just sitting in my office and very few people knew about it. But I think this is an article of sports memorabilia that has some substance to it.”

As of Thursday night, the high bid was $4,250. Heritage puts the value at $10,000.

Looking at the item, one thing is clear: That huge splinter of a bat could have done a lot of damage to Piazza had Clemens hit him.