A hand warmer used in the Red Sox dugout during the bitterly cold Game 3 of the World Series at Coors Field in Denver, where Boston survived a late Matt Holliday three-run homer on its way to the sweep. Fans in Red Sox Nation shattered MLB.com Auction bidding records after the team won it all in 2004, and similar activity is expected starting Friday.
One of the cans of bug spray used in the Yankees dugout during Game 2 of the American League Division Series in Cleveland. Remember Joba Chamberlain trying to deal with those pests on the mound? This figures to be a huge conversation piece, and probably not something you want to spray on that next camping trip.
Game-used bases and balls from many postseason games. As with so much other game-used equipment that is always available at the MLB.com Auction, you can count on some items that come with lots of dirt, signatures of the Boys of October and the kind of meaning that is going to be priceless to different individuals who rooted at the top of their lungs from the four Division Series openers to the last pitch by Jonathan Papelbon.
Each item in this postseason auction was authenticated through the MLB Authentication Program, the first league-wide memorabilia authentication initiative in professional sports. Every item that was either autographed or removed from the field of play was witnessed and marked by a third-party authenticator and was affixed with a hologram containing a unique serial number. The authenticity of each item can be verified on MLB.com using the serial number.
The Major League Baseball Authentication Program was designed to distinguish officially authenticated Major League Baseball memorabilia from other items on the market. Since its inception in January 2001, nearly two million autographed and game-used items have been authenticated through the program, including game-used items from every All-Star Game and postseason, game-used bases, balls, a uniform from Craig Biggio's 3,000th-hit game and the baseball from the first All-Star Game inside-the-park home run, which was hit by Ichiro Suzuki in 2007. That one went directly to Cooperstown for everyone to see.
Official licensees that participate in the Major League Baseball Authentication Program include Upper Deck Authenticated, All-Star Lineup, The Highland Mint, Ironclad Authentics, Locker Room Memorabilia and Mounted Memories. Official Major League Baseball authenticated memorabilia is available at preferred retailers, Field of Dream retail stores, the shop and auction sections of MLB.com, Major League Baseball Clubhouse Stores and collectibles retailers nationwide.
It was a year unlike any other in Major League Baseball, and it was culminated by an astonishing postseason. Rockies fans who saw their team finally get to the ultimate stage will want to have a look. Red Sox fans will want to find a perfect holiday gift and a precious piece of memorabilia to commemorate another title. Baseball shoppers everywhere will want to include the MLB.com Auction as their adventure "officially" gets under way as it does every Friday after Thanksgiving.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.