Give me an N. Give me a Y. (for a the highest bid)
Some very big, familiar pieces of New York City sports history are going on the auction block, courtesy of a baseball star.
The 10-foot high letters spelled "Yankee Stadium" and were atop the original Bronx ballpark. Now they are being offered for sale at Sotheby's on April 1. The auction house has estimated that the letters will sell for $300,000 to $600,000.
The owner is Yankee legend Reggie Jackson.
Jackson's nickname is Mr. October because of his performances during World Series games in that month. Jackson bought the letters after the Yankees' last game at the stadium in 2008. They had adorned the ballpark, which was built in 1923, since 1976. So they were there when Jackson hit three consecutive home runs in the sixth game of the 1977 World Series.
The 68-year-old Hall of Famer currently is at spring training with the Yankees in Tampa, Florida, where he said through Sotheby's that he wanted "a new generation to own and enjoy this icon of the Yankees and of New York City."
"There were a few items I wanted to purchase before the old Yankee Stadium was torn down," he said. Those included his locker and a section of the bleachers where blacks were once forced to sit. "But I kept thinking about the stadium lettering, and if there was any way for me to own it. I ended up making an offer and was thrilled when it was accepted. It's been a privilege to own such a recognizable piece of baseball history."
Sotheby's would not say how much Jackson paid for the letters.
Potential buyers will have to think about where to put the monumental letters, which range from 2 to 10 feet in width and light up electric blue. They are constructed of aluminum casing with Plexiglas inserts.
The "N'' and "Y'' will be displayed on the seventh floor of Sotheby's Manhattan galleries beginning March 26.
They will be part of Sotheby's "New York Sale" auction, and will include photos, prints, jewelry and other city-related material.
Critical thinking challenge: Why might Sotheby's be reluctant to say how much Jackson paid for the letters?