Autographed Michael Jordan Baseball Bat Rediscovered in Car Trunk After 26 Years
According to USA Today, actor and stuntman Tony Todd had forgotten he owned a Louisville Slugger signed by the NBA legend until he recently rediscovered it in the trunk of his 1966 Pontiac LeMans.
Todd first came into possession of the bat back in 1994, when Jordan played for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League, according to the outlet. A year before, Jordan had shocked the world when he announced he was leaving the Chicago Bulls after winning three straight NBA titles to pursue his childhood dream of playing baseball.
Jordan was recently the focus of the 10-part ESPN documentary, The Last Dance, which covered his impressive career and accomplishments with the Bulls. Todd said his signed bat hadn't crossed his mind for 13 years until someone sent him a message while The Last Dance was airing, asking if he still had it.
"My God, I had totally forgotten I had the M.J. bat to be honest," Todd recalled to USA Today. "When the guy mentioned it, I sprinted through the house like Carl Lewis."
"I'm running around the house, going, 'Where's the bat? Where's the bat?' I couldn’t find it," he continued, adding that he then remembered it was in the trunk of his Pontiac.
Todd said Jordan gave him the bat after a friend invited him to hang with the NBA champion after his game with the Scorpions in 1994. That's when Jordan recognized Todd from the movie, Little Big League.
While Todd said he doesn't know how much the bat is worth today, he anticipates its value has likely skyrocketed thanks to ESPN's documentary.
"I'm not in desperate need to sell it, and I don’t want to give it away," Todd told USA Today, "but there can’t be that many Jordan bats signed."
The bat will go up for auction on Saturday on Memory Lane Inc's website, with a starting bid of $10,000. Bidding will last 21 days and end on Oct. 10.
"Something like this, probably the only Jordan-used bat used in existence on the market, will create a lot of interest," Daniel Wulkan, a partner with Memory Lane, told USA Today. "To have the photo, the whole story behind it, just adds extra value."
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Jordan would not pursue his baseball career for long — just a year after signing Todd's bat, he returned to the Bulls once again. From there he won three straight championships with the team from 1996 to 1998, solidifying him as the most admired athlete in the world at the time.
Jordan would retire from basketball for a second time following the 1998 season, then return once again to join the Washington Wizards in 2001.