Grant DePorter, CEO of Harry Caray's Restaurant Group, purchased Sosa's infamous corked bat at auction from former Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger for $14,407. The final cost, after a $2,160 bidder's commission to Schulte Auctions, totaled $16,567, the restaurant announced Wednesday.
The bat will be placed on display at Harry Caray's restaurant on 33 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago, beginning Thursday. Next week, the bat will be moved to the Chicago Sports Museum inside Harry Caray's Tavern on Navy Pier.
The bat will join other items in the museum such as the exploded remains of the foul ball from the 2003 National League Championship Series (which DePorter purchased for $113,824); one of the baseballs Kerry Wood used in his 20-strikeout game against the Astros in May 1998; and Starlin Castro's game-used batting gloves from May 7, when he set a record for a Major League debut with six RBIs.
"This bat is unquestionably a unique piece of Chicago sports history," DePorter said Wednesday, "and is a perfect fit for our museum collection."
The corked bat splintered when Sosa hit a ground-ball out in the first inning of the June 3, 2003, Interleague game between the Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays at Wrigley Field. Sosa was ejected from the game and eventually served a seven-game suspension.
DePorter himself made news the day after the incident when he took a bat used by Sosa during his historic 1998 home run record chase to a hospital for an X-ray to check if that bat was corked as well. The radiologist determined it was "cork free." That 1998 bat, given to DePorter by longtime Cubs clubhouse manager Yosh Kawano, will be placed on display next to the corked one.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.