A signed baseball used by Stephen Strasburg to strike out Garrett Jones and a signed first base used during the fourth through sixth innings are among the items up for bidding now as the MLB.com Auction
presents a unique opportunity to commemorate the Nationals rookie's 14-strikeout debut.
The baseball was used for a pitch to Jones in the top of the second for a strikeout -- Strasburg's second on Tuesday night at Nationals Park. Strasburg signed the ball and inscribed it on the sweet spot with this: "MLB Debut, 14Ks, 1st MLB Win."
The well-soiled and trampled base was signed by Strasburg with the same inscription: "MLB Debut, 14Ks, 1st MLB Win." Delwyn Young touched it after hitting a two-run homer off Strasburg in the fourth, but so did Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham with their back-to-back jacks in the sixth to turn the game around for Washington.
"My teammates told me to soak it in, because you only get one Major League debut," Strasburg said after being hit by a ceremonial shaving-cream pie.
You only get one debut, but game-used artifacts from that game are forever. Strasburg's first game in front of his new fans never will be forgotten. He struck out 14 Pirates, and did so in completely dominating style. Three times he struck out the side. Strasburg walked none, allowed just four hits, and his only blemish was Delwyn Young's two-run homer. It was seven innings that made everyone take notice.
Now you can take part of it home with you. In addition to the base and ball used during the game, you can bid on a signed Nationals jersey with "Strasburg" and "37" on the back. That one had six bids with a high of $360 as of 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
In addition to items from his Major League debut against the Pirates, you also can bid on a slew of game-used items from Strasburg's pro debut against the Pirates' Double-A affiliate. That was for the Nationals' Double-A Harrisburg Senators affiliate against the Altoona Curve. Those items include a baseball thrown by Strasburg, a first base used from innings 1 through 5, and the first lineup card Strasburg ever was written into as a professional.
"When you see guys like this come along, it's really special," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. That is apparent in many ways, and that includes all the pre-bidding that was already under way as Strasburg threw his first pitch and the bidding that awaits you right now.
The MLB.com Auction features a huge supply of game-used and signed equipment up for bidding. You can find a lot of pink Mother's Day bats that were used and signed, like the one Josh Willingham or Pudge Rodriguez took to the plate. All proceeds from those pink bat bids will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the fight against breast cancer.