The Dodgers would love nothing more than to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their last World Series championship with another one next month, and there will be a run on game-used memorabilia from this spellbinding season if they even come close.
Between now and 10 p.m. ET on Sept. 25, you have a chance to strike first. Game-used jerseys worn by Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig and a historic baseball thrown by Hyun-Jin Ryu to South Korean countryman Shin-Soo Choo are among many unique items now up for bidding in a special MLB.com Auction devoted to this Dodgers season.
Here are some of the highlights in the listings, and there is more where these came from:
Kershaw game-used jersey: This has the highest starting price in the auction at $3,000, and it will appeal to MLB memorabilia collectors across the board. The left-hander is leading the National League in ERA for the third year in a row, and has a strong shot at winning his second Cy Young Award in three years. He wore this size-50 road jersey for his 13th win of the year and 74th of his career, throwing eight scoreless innings in a 6-0 victory at Miami despite not having his best command -- even driving in the only run that mattered.
"He keeps coming after people," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after that game. "He's pretty good. He raises the bar pretty high pretty much every time out. He has a rough inning or two and we worry about him. He sets the bar high, but that's OK." Or maybe you'd prefer a baseball Kershaw threw in the dirt to Giants rival Buster Posey on June 26 and then signed. It was in the sixth inning of a 4-2 Dodgers victory, Kershaw's sixth win of the year.
Puig debut baseball: Who can forget his first game, when he sealed a 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium with a throw to second from deep right field? You can track the hologram info to find out a game-used item's history. In this case, the ball was thrown by Kenley Jansen to Padres pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay in the top of the eighth inning and fouled back to the screen. It was tossed out of the game and then Puig later signed it (with "66" inscription) for posterity.
The Puig memorabilia does not stop there. On June 20, he homered off Jason Marquis in the first inning at San Diego, and bidding starts at $2,000 for the No. 66 jersey he wore in that game. There is also a signed Old Hickory broken bat that Puig swung in grounding out against Mets reliever Scott Atchison in the bottom of the eighth on Aug. 13.
Ryu-Choo ball: The auction includes a ball that Ryu threw (in the dirt) to Choo in the top of the first inning of their encounter on July 27. You also can bid on the No. 99 home jersey that Ryu wore during his quality start in a no-decision against Arizona on June 16 at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers vs. Red Sox base: Remember when Ricky Nolasco shut down Boston and Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer in a 2-0 Friday Night Fireworks win at home on Aug. 23? The third base used throughout that game -- manned by Juan Uribe and Will Middlebrooks -- is on the block as well. Who knows? At this rate we could be headed for a World Series rematch, and this would be a base used in the Dodgers' only win during that Interleague series.
"We've been playing great, and we're just staying focused, no matter who the opponent is," Nolasco said that night after reaching 10 wins for the sixth straight season. "Against good teams, we're playing well. Everybody is just doing their job and we have great balance throughout the whole team."
Andre Ethier game-used helmet: Want a great conversation piece? Imagine having an actual Dodgers helmet on your office desk, smeared with pine tar. Ethier was a pinch-hitter in that big 7-6 victory over David Price and the Rays on Aug. 9 in Chavez Ravine, and his helmet was pulled from the dugout and authenticated.