Throwing Money—$52K!

Rory’s a rainmaker! You know that golf ball Rory McIlroy heaved heavenward in jubilation after winning the Claret Jug and the 2014 British Open? Well, a golf memorabilia collector paid $52,038 for it. But compared to prices paid for other sports memorabilia, that ain’t nuttin’.

There are those of us who wince whenever a new Tiger is knighted and who refuse to declare that the Rory Era has dawned quite yet. No need to rush these things. That said, it’s becoming easier to root for the regency of Rory McIlroy because when he wins a tournament and heaves his golf ball into the stands after his final putt, he’s making commoners rich!

McIlroy’s won three straight tournaments and has fired fly balls to the fans after two of them, the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and the 2014 British Open. He didn’t throw his ball into the crowd after winning the PGA Championship last Sunday, perhaps because it was so dark that he didn’t want to doink a fan who would have had no way to see a ball in flight.

Pennies (Millions) From Heaven

No word yet on what’s happened to the ball from the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, but news surfaced earlier this week that the ball McIlroy threw into the stands from the 18th green at Hoylake was caught by Englishman Lee Horner. Horner consigned the ball to golf auctioneer Green Jacket Auctions, and it sold for $52,038. That’s the second-highest amount paid for a golf ball; in April 2011, a collector forked over $55,865 for a vintage Bobby Jones autographed ball.

Two questions come to mind:
  1. If I were to catch such a ball, would I sell or save it for posterity?
  2. Who would pay $50,000-plus for a golf ball?

The answer to the first question is probably yes. Sell the ball and use the money for charity or for paying down debt. I could hold on to it in hopes that it would appreciate as McIlroy becomes golf’s reigning monarch. But he could be at his peak, for all I know. So I’d just take the money and run.

Chump Change Compared to …

The answer to the second question is: I have no idea. A bit foolish, IMHO, but I guess that’s why they call it disposable income. And in the world of sports memorabilia collectors, $50K for a golf ball – as nutty as it is — is nuttin’. Do you know the price paid for the most expensive sports memorabilia item auctioned? $4.3 million! And you’ll never guess what the item was.

”They call it disposable income.”

As nutty as that price is, that’s nuttin’ compared with the price fetched for the most expensive item ever auctioned. It’s probably not surprising that it was a painting, Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust sold in 2010. But the price? $106.5 million!

BTW, if you are lucky enough to catch a one of McIlroy’s winning golf balls – or if you have other sports memorabilia to sell – check out Green Jacket Auctions.

Would you sell or keep a ball thrown by Rory McIlroy after a big win?

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