Though some of the prized items used during Johan Santana's historic no-hitter are at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for posterity, other artifacts, such as the home plate and left fielder Mike Baxter's jersey, are up for bid through the MLB.com Auction.
Santana and Mets Amazin' Memorabilia formed an exclusive partnership for the sale of autographed and inscribed merchandise commemorating the long-awaited first no-hitter in Mets history. A portion of the net proceeds from the sales of game-used memorabilia autographed by Santana will be donated by the Mets and Santana to the Johan Santana Foundation.
The opening bid is $5,700 for the home plate that was pulled out of the ground at Citi Field after Santana shut down the defending World Series champion Cardinals. Not only do you get the actual plate to which Santana threw all 134 pitches, but the left-hander signed it -- and there's a picture of him doing that -- and it is inscribed: "Mets 1st No Hitter 6/1/12 8,020th Game NO-HAN."
Baxter kept the no-hitter alive when he crashed into the wall in the top of the seventh inning, robbing Yadier Molina for out No. 20. The native of Queens was forced to exit the game with a bruised left shoulder, and soon people were asking whether that or Endy Chavez's catch in the 2006 National League Championship Series was the greatest in Mets history.
Santana signed and inscribed the No. 23 jersey Baxter wore that night, so someone will have a fabulous piece of history for the future.
"You never know when they're going to happen," Santana said of the no-hitter. "This is very, very special, and I know it means a lot to New York."
The collection also includes baseballs and bases used during the no-hitter, as well as a replica pitching rubber and signed action photos.