Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling — whose video game company underwent a spectacular collapse into bankruptcy last year — is selling the blood-stained sock he wore during the 2004 World Series.
Chris Ivy, director of sports for Texas-based Heritage Auctions, says online bidding begins around Feb. 4. Live bidding will take place Feb. 23.
The sock previously had been on loan to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It has been at Heritage's Dallas headquarters for several weeks and will be displayed at the auction house's Manhattan office before it is sold, according to Ivy.
He said the sock is expected to fetch at least $100,000 US, though he described that as a conservative estimate.
"I do expect the bidding to be very spirited," Ivy said.
Schilling's company, 38 Studios, was lured to Providence, R.I., from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan guarantee in 2010. In May, it laid off all its employees and it filed for bankruptcy in June. The state is now likely responsible for some $100 million related to the deal, including interest.
Schilling also had personally guaranteed loans to the company and listed the sock as bank collateral in a September filing with the Massachusetts secretary of state's office.
Messages left for his publicist were not immediately returned.
The bloody sock is one of two that sent Schilling into the annals of baseball lore in 2004.
The other was from Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, when Schilling pitched against the New York Yankees with an injured ankle. That sock is said to have been discarded in the trash at Yankees Stadium.
The one being sold is from the second game of the World Series, which the Red Sox won that year for the first time in 86 years.
Schilling has said he invested as much as $50 million in 38 Studios and has lost all his baseball earnings. He told WEEI-AM in Boston last year that possibly having to sell the sock was part of "having to pay for your mistakes."
"I'm obligated to try and make amends and, unfortunately, this is one of the byproducts of that," he told the station.
Brad Horn, a spokesman for the hall of fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., said the loaned sock was returned in December under the terms of the hall's agreement with Schilling. The hall had had it since 2004.
The Feb. 23 live bidding will be held at the Fletcher-Sinclair mansion in New York City, now home to the Ukrainian Institute of America. The auction will feature other "five- and six-figure items," including a jersey and cap worn by New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig, Ivy said.
Heritage last May auctioned off the so-called "Bill Buckner ball," which rolled through the legs of the Red Sox first baseman in the 1986 World Series. Ivy said that item, like Schilling's sock, was listed at the time as being expected to bring in "$100,000-plus," but it was sold to an anonymous bidder for $418,000.