The $518,000 sale of the game ball used in the now-unretired Tom Brady‘s “final” touchdown pass has been voided by mutual agreement between buyer, consigner and auction house, according to Lelands Auctions on Thursday.
Due to the unique nature of Brady’s decision to return 40 days after he first announced his retirement in late January — and less than 24 hours after the auction closed, no less — no money was exchanged, so the agreement was simply nullified, 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 pulled out, the ball’s consigner still plans to sell it privately through Lelands.
“It’s the most unique situation that we’ll probably ever encounter in our lifetimes — at least when it comes to sports memorabilia. We’re still not to the end of the book yet; we’ve written a chapter.”
Even after the seven-time Super Bowl champion’s return to the Buccaneers and the resulting drop in the ball’s value, Heffner says multiple prospective buyers still reached out to buy it.
“It’s still an incredible piece of history,” Heffner said. “Any Brady touchdown ball is.”
It took a month to officially announce the voided sale because all parties involved were waiting to see if Brady would stay unretired. According to Lelands, after both buyer and consigner were reached, that delay was due to wanting to confirm Brady’s status.
“All parties were waiting to see how it played out,” Heffner said. “Tom Brady, let’s face it, is kind of unpredictable these days. Until he throws that first touchdown pass in September, this ball is still the record.”