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Lot # 2: Tom Brady's Last Touchdown Pass Football (Photo-Matched & MeiGray LOA)

Category: Football

Starting Bid: $100,000.00

Bids: 23 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Winter Classic 2022",
which ran from 2/13/2022 3:00 PM to
3/12/2022 10:00 PM

If there is any item in the field of sports collectibles that needs no embellishment, it is this historic piece: the final touchdown ball of Tom Brady’s career. The historic event took place just recently in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ home playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on January 23, 2002. Brady’s 55-yard touchdown pass was caught by wide receiver Mike Evans, which cut the Rams’ lead to 27-20 with 3:20 left to play in the fourth quarter. As is his habit when he scores, Evans tossed the ball into the stands, where it was caught by our consignor. Obviously, with the game not yet decided, and Tom Brady having given no formal indication that he was retiring at the conclusion of the Buccaneers’ season, no one could have realized the ball’s historical significance at the time. It was only after the loss, and Brady’s stunning announcement a week later, that the true value of the piece became apparent. Unlike other items used in the commission of a famous last event, this ball has dual significance because it was also used to establish Tom Brady’s record of 86 career playoff touchdowns. To put that number in its proper perspective, the player in second place, Joe Montana, has a total of 45. Like most of Brady’s passing records, it is a mark that will almost certainly stand the test of time

As we mentioned earlier, this ball has been consigned directly from the fan who caught it after Evans tossed it into the stands. That impeccable provenance notwithstanding, the ball has also been conclusively photo matched. The Wilson Official NFL football features a large NFL logo on side panel, below which, on a separate panel is a silver oval bearing the Buccaneers’ team logo and the number “435.” Additionally, that same panel displays numerous small white “specks” that are a byproduct of its game use. Both the number “435” and the “specks” can be clearly seen in two closeup Getty Images (1237945845 and 1366493887) of Evans as he makes his fourth-quarter touchdown catch. 

It is only through an incredible stroke of luck that this ball is available to private collectors. If Evans had not tossed it into the stands, it would still be in the possession of the Buccaneers and would never be offered publicly. Lelands too has experienced a second stroke of good fortune. It was less than a year ago that we offered Tom Brady’s first career touchdown ball (Lot 5; 2021 Mid-Spring Classic; realized $428,841). Ironically, Brady’s first touchdown ball, like his last, was also tossed into the stands by the receiver who caught it (Terry Glenn), therefore depriving the NFL Football Hall of Fame of what would be two of its most important artifacts. Which of the two Brady touchdown balls is the most significant, his first or last? That, of course, is for the collectors and historians to debate, but one thing is certain: the opportunity to obtain a piece of football history of this magnitude may never present itself again.

Comes with full letter of authenticity and photo-match by MeiGray.

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