Curt Schilling was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox during their 2004 season—the year they finally won the World Series after an 86 year drought. During that season, Schilling played a crucial part of the team’s road to World Series glory.
In Game 6 of the American League Championship against their AL rivals, the New York Yankees, Schilling took the mound for seven innings and held the Yankees to only two runs, pitching with a recently operated-on torn tendon sheath. While pitching, his ankle was being held together with stitches and bandages, resulting in what became one of the most epic and emblematic symbol of the Red Sox team: a sock stained red with his blood. Currently, the sock is on display in Cooperstown, New York, at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Why mention this now? Well, after retiring from baseball in 2007, Schilling went on to found a video game company, 38 Studios (so named for his jersey number). This year, the company had an epic meltdown, defaulting on a massive $75 million loan provided by the State of Rhode Island in return for job creation. The company went bankrupt, all their employees lost their jobs, the state seized its assets, and according to a post on ESPN, now Schilling himself is on the hook for as much as $12 million in personally guaranteed loans from Bank Rhode Island and Citizens Bank.
As it turns out, it’s been discovered that Schilling put the sock up as collateral for the loans, and there are estimates that it could fetch as much as $100,000 should it be sold in an effort to pay off the debt. Considering that the Red Sox had the third-highest payroll in Major League Baseball this year and finished dead last in the AL East, the possible sale of this most sacred of Red Sox relics makes it all the more appropriate.
Better luck next year, Red Sox.