World Series of Weird, Woolly Baseball Collectibles
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By Alfonso Serrano,
The Fiscal Times
October 21, 2011

 The 107th World Series, which kicked off this week, will leave behind more than arguments over bad calls and empty bottles of champagne in the winning team's locker. Baseball die-hards are certain to pour over a mountain of memorabilia.

Bent on owning a part of World Series history, baseball fans are already loading up on game programs, ticket stubs, and signed photographs. It’s part of an ever-growing baseball memorabilia industry, just a click away on sites like eBay, Steiner Sports and Mounted Memories.

While some fans at the ballpark scramble to get autographs, foul balls or home run souvenirs, others pursue more offbeat memorabilia, like players' dirty underwear. Official game-used baseballs, bats and gloves may be popular, but a piece of clothing--even though it may still smell like a gym -- is to baseball what Lady Gaga's bustier is to a rock concert.    

Teams and marketers are also tapping into fan demand by offering items such as ballpark dirt encased in table coasters (sold as a set of four), and champagne bottles and corks from clubhouse celebrations. Steiner Sports claims to have sold $10 million in ballpark dirt over the years. It’s now offering a game-used sock of New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter for $500, with a certificate of authenticity included.

One rising trend -- used jock straps. This summer, an eBay customer bought a game-used Alex Rodriguez jock strap for $275, according to the New York Daily News. And other collecting websites have recently featured the game-used genital support of Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and long-time catcher Ivan Rodriguez, now with the Washington Nationals.

Click through the photo gallery to see the "shock jock" collection.