A bag of air supposedly taken from Kobe Bryant’s last game has become the subject of a lot of internet hype this week.
The bag of air reached $15,000 in bidding before it was removed by its owner. This stands out as one of the strangest pieces of memorabilia ever sold.
No piece of memorabilia, however, in the history of history is weirder than this one: A used piece of chewing gum, chewed by World Series hero Luis Gonzalez.
A collector by the name of Jason Gabbert had Gonzalez chew a piece of gum, which was eventually spat and sealed in 2002. This was done to raise money for the athletic programs of Lakeview, Minnesota High School. Nobody would spend more than a few dollars on that, right?
Wrong. The gum bidding process lasted for two weeks, and was eventually bought by Curt Muller– for ten thousand dollars. That’s right. Somebody actually spent that much money on two used pieces of chewing gum. And several other bidders had bids in the thousands. This seriously went on for two weeks.
Curt Mueller was the man who bought the gum. Mueller owns Mueller Sports Medicine, which produces Quench gum. This was apparently done as a publicity stunt, which one analyst predicted could have generated between $500 thousand and $750 thousand in earned media. This story was covered pretty heavily at the time, and GumGate became somewhat of a controversy.
Just for context, a Luis Gonzalez signed baseball can be bought for $100 on sportsmemrobilia.com. A signed photo of his World Series-winning hit is on eBay for the same price. These are far less expensive– and far less disgusting– pieces of Gonzalez memorabilia.
As for the bag of air– that seems like something that’s hard to authenticate.