Want to get your hands on an infamous piece of Cubs history?
An online auction house is taking bids on the barrel of Sammy Sosa's corked bat, the one that splintered into pieces in 2003 during a Cubs' game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays -- shattering Sosa's image along with it.
When the bat broke in the first inning of the Cubs' victory, exposing cork inside, Sosa was ejected and the handle of the bat was confiscated. But the fate of the roughly 20-inch barrel has been a mystery until now.
Turns out Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger found it that night in the passageway between the dugout and the Cubs' clubhouse and hid it in a fishing rod case above his locker.
"I didn't know what was going to come out of it, or what [the league had on Sosa] going forward. But at the very least, I figured it wasn't going to do anybody any good for the league to get their hands on that part of the bat," Remlinger said Saturday. He is no longer in the league.
He kept the barrel in the fishing rod case for the rest of the year, and then took it home, where it remained until he decided to put it up for auction.
Remlinger reached out to Sosa last year to see whether he wanted the barrel back. Sosa's assistant told him Sosa was interested, but Remlinger never heard back.
"At that point, I figured I could do whatever I want with it," he said.
Bidding began Oct. 1 at schulte auctions.com. Auctioneer Ray Schulte says the barrel could fetch anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 by the time bidding ends Oct. 31.
"There's nothing quite like it out there in the collectibles market," he said.