A football that holds a unique place in NFL history is about to go up for auction this weekend, and the expectation is that it will go for big money in a frenetic memorabilia market.
The item in question is the football from the first touchdown pass of Tom Brady's legendary NFL career. Leland Auctions will handle the bidding and ultimate sale.
Football from Brady's 1st TD toss going to auction https://t.co/ciwmkbO761— Lelands Auctions (@Lelandsdotcom) May 7, 2021
Brady’s first career touchdown pass came during the New England Patriots’ comeback victory over the then-San Diego Chargers on Oct. 14, 2001 in Foxboro. It was Brady’s third game in the NFL in relief of an injured Drew Bledsoe. Brady failed to complete a touchdown pass in his first two appearances.
However, with 4:01 left in the second quarter against the Chargers, Brady connected on a 21-yard score with Terry Glenn, who proceeded to throw the ball into the stands in celebration. That is how the fan, who has chosen to remain anonymous, came into possession of what now is a highly coveted piece of memorabilia.
“It was a melee. I stood up on my seat, I pushed my buddy to my left,” the seller said, per ESPN. “The other two guys, I handed them my beer in a gentle way. I jumped up, tussled with a group of other fans around me and I came down with the ball.”
Lelands has verified through photographs and inspection that the football is indeed authentic.
“You can see the exact marks where the writing on the ball in the photo matches the ball that we are about to offer,” Lelands director of acquisitions Jordan Gilroy said. “It’s incredible that there was a photographer that close to him at that moment in time. Everything in that scenario was perfect, and we definitely did our due diligence to make sure it is the one.”
The market for Brady memorabilia has been white-hot of late. Lelands recently sold an autographed Tom Brady Panini Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket rookie card for a record $2.25 million.
$2,252,854 is now the most ever paid for a football card. Four decades of sports auctions and yet another world-record price in a Lelands Classic Auction. The tradition continues!— Lelands Auctions (@Lelandsdotcom) April 3, 2021
Visit us at https://t.co/rMNPRCRrok#tombrady #lelandsauctions #contenders #worldrecord #brady pic.twitter.com/99A3qtoQsM
Interestingly enough, Brady, ever the savvy entrepreneur, entered into an exclusive partnership with Fanatics last October through which the company will enjoy exclusive rights to the seven-time Super Bowl champion’s memorabilia.
As noted, the auction memorabilia market has been operating at a frenetic pace and generating a mind-blowing amount of money exchanging hands over the past year or so. Brady’s first touchdown pass football will surely keep that trend going.
“For Tom Brady’s football to be available and owned by an average fan is incredible,” Gilroy said. “It’s a piece of football history, and I think 10, 20, 30 years from now and Brady’s legacy is remembered even more, like Michael Jordan is now, it’s just going to increase in value. The fact that this ball is probably going into a private collection and might not see the light of day again, it might be the last time it ever sells.”
The auction of Brady’s ball opens Sunday and ends on June 4.