The Houston Astros used to domniate the headlines before the COVID-19 pandemic but it seemed so long ago that the commissioner was disrespecting the World Series trophy and Little League teams chose not to name themselves after the MLB team. But now, the Astros are back in the headlines and not in a good way.
According to TMZ, Goldin Auctions wanted to auction off the 2017 World Series ring of Astros scout David Brito for various charities and hospitals within Camden, NJ. Instead, founder and CEO Ken Goldin told TMZ that the Astros called him and sent an email wanting Goldin to pull the listing because there’s an agreement that stated people must sell their ring back to the Astros for $1.
A right to buy back rings and trophies aren’t unprecedented. As TMZ noted, the Academy Awards have a similar method to buy back Oscar statues for $1 if anyone was planning on selling one.
Goldin told his side of the story, that after a “bad phone call” between the Astros and his attorney, Goldin offered to talk to the team himself. Goldin explained to the “head of human resources” and the “vice president of legal affairs” that he didn’t want to pull the ring and made sure the team knew that it was advertised that 100 percent of the proceeds would be donated to a variety of charities and hospitals in the Camden area, an area Goldin noted has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, Goldin said the team told him, “We don’t care what the reason is – we do enough for charity ourselves and we want our contract honored.” Goldin also accused the Astros of “threatening” him and his attorney in an email with “criminal action” if they were to sell a “stolen ring.”
Goldin said that he wasn’t going to legally fight the Astros so he’s not putting the ring up for auction and is going to donate the ring’s value himself so those causes still get the funds they need. The ring that was almost auctioned off, which isn’t a player ring and has less bling, was valued at $10k and Goldin Auctions was hoping to get between $20k-$60k on the sale.
So far, the Astros haven’t made a comment. If there was an agreement in place, the Astros were within their right to buy back any World Series ring but given it’s for charity and it’s not a player ring, is this really the hill the Astros want to die on?