One-of-a-Kind Mariano Rivera Signed "My 1st World Series" Inscribed 1996 World Series Game/Field-Used Official World Series Baseball w/ MLB Authentic Hologram Discovered in Storage at Turner Field

Major League Baseball's Authentication Database Session Product Description for hologram HZ346127 details the session name as "Braves End of Year Authentication" with a date of "November 06, 2014" and with the following additional information, "Rawlings Official Ball 1996 World Series." As stated on the MLB website:

"The Major League Baseball Authentication Program is the most comprehensive league-wide memorabilia authentication initiative in professional sports. Since its launch in 2001, it has become the industry standard for autographed and game-used sports memorabilia authentication. Designed to distinguish officially authenticated MLB memorabilia from other items on the market, the program offers an objective third-party authentication system that guarantees genuine memorabilia for all MLB fans."

If the MLB authentication program didn't start until 2001, how then is it possible to authenticate a 1996 World Series ball? The short answer is, it's not. A better answer, however, is that the ball was found two years ago in a storage locker at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves since 1997. According to our consignor, the offered ball, along with a half dozen others like it, were set aside after the Braves lost the 1996 Series to the Yankees 4-2. After winning the first two games at Yankee Stadium and then losing the next four, three of which were played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, who in Atlanta could possibly care for a ball reminding him or her of the team's late-October implosion?

We can't guarantee that the ball was used in any particular game, in batting practice, or somewhere else, but it shows excessive use, and we believe that it was obviously set aside for a reason. After the Braves lost Game 6 in New York and the team moved to its new home at Turner Field, however, the ball was lost in storage, buried in an unknown closet at the Braves' new stadium, where it remained untouched until an end-of-the-year cleaning nearly two decades later in 2014. As such, Authenticators Inc. was able to authenticate the ball as genuine to the 1996 World Series, but that is all. Two years later, Mariano Rivera then added his elaborate signature beneath the World Series logo, along with the unique inscription "My 1st World Series," creating, in our opinion, a one-of-a-kind, early career collectible comparable to almost any of the game-used items from later in the Sandman's historic, record-setting career.

Item With Reserve: This card is being offered with a hidden reserve at a level chosen by our consignor in order to protect his investment, and the card will not sell until bidding reaches this level, at which point the current bid price will change from red to black.



Price: $4,999.00 Or
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