First came Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez's game-used gum, then A's ace Tim Hudson's goatee clippings and now ... Mariners reliever Jeff Nelson's bone chips?
The fragments from the Seattle Mariners pitcher's elbow went up on eBay on Tuesday, after Seattle sports radio talk show host Dave Mahler convinced Nelson to put them up for auction.
After pitching one inning and giving up a hit and a walk in the May 5 game against the Yankees in New York, a CT scan revealed the bone chips in his elbow. Nelson had surgery last Friday to remove the chips.
"I brought them around the clubhouse with me on Saturday and I said that I should put them on eBay and all the guys started laughing," Nelson told ESPN.com. "Then Dave said the same thing, so we decided to do it."
"It's kind of embarrassing that someone would want to buy something that came out of your elbow," Nelson said.
But apparently there is interest. The first bid was $250 and the price is climbing.
"I think they're worthless," said Steve Grad, a collectibles expert for PSA/DNA. "People want to buy a Babe Ruth bat because there is history associated with it. I don't think anyone is going to buy Jeff Nelson bone chips so that they can pass it down to their grand kids. If they did pass it down, they'd say, 'Who the hell is Jeff Nelson?' "
Nelson said the highest bidder when the auction closes Tuesday will receive the chips in a container personalized to them. The money raised will go to a charity of Nelson's choice, perhaps the Bear Creek School in Redmond, Wash., where Nelson's daughters go to school, or to the family of Curtis Williams, the paralyzed University of Washington football player who died on May 6, Nelson said.
"Someone like (renown sports orthopedist) Frank Jobe could make a lot of money saving these body parts from players and putting them on eBay," Nelson said. "Maybe one person can buy them all and collect a whole human."
Interestingly, Nelson has included a clause in the auction description that the winning bidder cannot "use (the) bone chips for cloning or DNA extraction purposes."
Gonzalez's wad of gum sold for $10,000 in April, and clippings from Hudson's goatee went for $75 earlier this month.