One of the signatures that is most coveted today across all sports has signed a deal.
Following a lengthy courtship from numerous memorabilia companies, Aaron Judge the New York Yankees rookie slugger signed an autograph deal that is exclusive with Fanatics.
Terms of the deal were not released but David Matranga, Judge’s agent, said the deal was long term.
Judge, who has other endorsements with Under Armour and Rawlings, said that he and his agent were very selective about what deals they wanted, but following the break for the All-Star game it seemed right to sign this one with Fanatics.
During early July, one of the signed Judge rookie cards was sold on eBay for $14,655. Just two weeks ago, Judge’s jersey that was worn for his debut in Major League Baseball was sold for a price of $160,644. In that debut in the majors, Judge hit the first home run of his MLB career.
On the Fanatics website, the memorabilia company is selling photos that are 8 x 10 with the signature of Judge for $350. A Yankees hat signed by Judge has a cost of $400, a batting helmet the slugger signed costs $500, a bat signed by Judge goes for $600 and a replica jersey signed by Judge costs $650.
Judge said that while growing up as a kid in California, he collected player’s autographs. He says he had Rich Aurilia the former shortstop with the San Francisco Giants as well as Barry Bonds. He got Willie Mays to sign an autograph a couple of times as well.
Judge, winner of the recent Home Run Derby, said growing up he perfected his own signature in notebooks during class dreaming of a day that he would sign one.
While Judge has kept quiet, one source said he was upset about how his game jersey had been put up for auction without him knowing anything about it.
The jersey worn by Judge on Mother’s Day, the same day the Yankees retired Derek Jeter’s number, will be auctioned off in a week.
The batting gloves of Judge, shoes and bats are all his property, but the jerseys he wears are the team’s property. The deal he signed with Fanatics does not include the rights to his memorabilia used in games.
Since returning from the All-Star break, Judge is hitting just .164. He is second in the majors in home runs with 35, but a distant 7 behind Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.