Monday, November 15, 2010

Decadence?

Kirk Gibson
Seconds after the Famous Home Run
I don't know. Decadence to some people is not the same as it is to others. As you all know, I love baseball, so this item, which I first read in USA Today, caught my eye. Those of you who don't know baseball will not know who Kirk Gibson is. Briefly, he hit one of the most famous home runs of all time. Crippled up with hamstring problems in one leg and a bad knee on the other, he was sent in as a pinch hitter for the LA Dodgers against the Oakland A's in the bottom of the ninth inning in the first game World Series game of 1988. He faced one of the most fearsome closers in the game, Dennis Eckersley. The "Eck" as he was called was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Well, long story short, Gibson hit a walk-off home run into the right field stands with a runner on to win the game for LA. You can watch it here. It really is quite dramatic, and worth seeing if you never have seen it.

That's background. Here's the point. A couple of brothers, Chad and Doug Dreier, just paid at auction--are you ready for this?--$575,912 for the bat* Gibson hit the homer with. As if that were not enough, they bought his jersey, too. That was a mere $303,277, his batting helmet ($153,388), plus the National League MVP award and World Series trophy for another $155,871. All that totals up to a tidy $1.2 million.

Now what's your definition of decadence? This fits mine. For you see, some people inhabit a perpetual playground no matter what's happening in the rest of the world and the other people in it. I don't know, this kind of conspicuous consumption somehow just doesn't seem right to me. Can't exactly say why, because ofttimes the general public ends up benefiting from the acquisitions of private collectors. Still . . . You're free to disagree.

*only the second highest amount ever paid for a bat. The one that Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run ever in Yankee Stadium went for $1.265 million in 2004.
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