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The sale of the $ 518,000 of the game ball used in the now-retired Tom Brady’s “final” touchdown pass has been canceled by mutual agreement between buyer, sender and auction house, according to Lelands Auctions.
Due to the unique nature of Brady’s decision to return 40 days after he first announced his retirement at the end of January – and less than 24 hours after the auction closed, no less – no money was exchanged, so the deal was simply annulled, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
“We wanted to do the right thing here,” said Mike Heffner, president and partner at Lelands, adding that while the original buyer has withdrawn, the ball’s sender still plans to sell it privately through Lelands.
“It’s the most unique situation we’ll probably ever encounter in our lives – at least when it comes to sports memorabilia. We’re still not at the end of the book yet; we’ve written a chapter.”
Even after the seven-time Super Bowl champion returned to the Buccaneers and the consequent drop in the value of the ball, Heffner says several potential buyers still reached out to buy it.
“It’s still an incredible piece of history,” Heffner said. “Every Brady touchdown ball is.”
It took a month to officially announce the canceled sale because all parties involved were waiting to see if Brady would remain retired. According to Lelands, this delay, after both buyer and sender had reached, was due to want to confirm Brady’s status.
“All parties were waiting to see how it went,” Heffner said. “Tom Brady, let’s face it, is a little unpredictable these days. Until he throws the first touchdown pass in September, this ball is still the record.”