Grant DePorter buys Sosa's bat

Updated: November 3, 2010, 3:07 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Sammy Sosa's corked bat found a home after all.

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger put the broken barrel of the bat used by Sosa during his infamous game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003 up for auction.

Remlinger had put a secret reserve on the bat that was not met by the Oct. 31 deadline, but Grant DePorter, the CEO of Harry Caray's Restaurant Group, said Wednesday he bought the bat after the auction.

Remlinger said DePorter agreed to pay the highest bid at $14,407 plus roughly $2,000 in commission to Schulte Auctions.

Through a spokesperson, Sosa told the Chicago Tribune that he was shocked to learn Remlinger had the bat and was trying to sell it.

"If he needed the money, [Remlinger] should have just asked me for some money," Sosa said Tuesday through his spokeswoman, Rebecca Polihronis, according to the paper.

"Whether he got the message or not I know that I made two calls at the least, I think it was three, but I know absolutely it was more than once," Remlinger said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I think the guy's name was Kevin; I haven't gone to find my notes on the issue. Whether he passed the message on to Sammy or not is one question. It really doesn't matter to me. What's done is done. If he still wants to give me some money that would be fine."

DePorter had used the secret bidder name of Charles Murphy, the name of the Cubs owner in 1908, the last time the Cubs won the World Series.

The bat, which shattered in two pieces when Sosa grounded out to second base in the first inning of the game on June 3, 2003, went on an online auction block through Schulte Auctions on Oct. 1, and the starting bid was $5,050.

Going into the auction, Remlinger thought the bat could fetch $15,000.

Remlinger was in the bullpen when Sosa's bat broke, exposing cork and earning Sosa an ejection and eventual suspension. He said he noticed the broken bat sticking out from beneath a bag on the floor of the tunnel between the dugout and clubhouse that day.

"I saw it there and figured the umpires and the league might be looking for it, and it wouldn't be any help to him or our team if they found it so I picked it up and brought it into the clubhouse with me," Remlinger said. "I had a fishing rod case in my locker, and I just put it in there and covered it up with a couple of towels and left it in there. It was there for the rest of the year until I brought it home."