Aaron Hernandez’s #81 jerseys are selling at record prices on eBay, just ahead of this coming weekend’s jersey exchange program at Gillette Stadium’s New England Patriots ProShop. Aaron Hernandez is still sitting in a jail cell, where he faces first degree murder charges stemming from the shooting death of 27 year-old Odin Lloyd in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Pats announced last week that they would hold an in-house jersey exchange program so fans could turn in Hernandez’s shirts for another team item on July 6 and 7, this Saturday and Sunday in Foxboro. Fans may want to hold onto their #81 jerseys however, since bidding on eBay has their value soaring to into the hundreds of dollars, when they originally sold for $50, according to The Boston Globe on Monday, July 1.
A market for Hernandez memorabilia has now emerged online. One man on Craigslist is offering to buy “anything” related to Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.
One reason might be that the jersey exchange is only good in person at the stadium shop. If you live out of state or bought your jersey elsewhere, you’re out of luck – unless you put it up for sale on a website like eBay that is.
Florida Patriots fan John Lamothe was looking to get rid of his Aaron Hernandez jersey as soon as he first learned that the NFL star was under investigation for murder. Not only is Lamothe a huge Patriots fan, he also attended the same University of Florida that Hernandez did.
At first Lamothe thought about donating the shirt to the Goodwill, but figured nobody would even want it. Then he put it up for sale on eBay thinking maybe he’d get $15 at most for it.
Sunday the jersey sold for a whopping $229. Obviously it appears some people are hedging their bets that down the road, these #81 jerseys will be a collectors item. Certainly fans can’t be buying up the shirts to wear to games.
“I would actually pay money to know the story of who is buying it and why”, said Jeff Brown of Wakefield, who has listed a signed jersey that he bought last year at a children’s charity auction.
Shawn Malloy of Topsfield was interviewed outside the Pats ProShop and said he was “appalled” that collectors appear to be driving up the prices for Hernandez memorabilia. “It’s kind of gross”, he said.
One seller listed a Hernandez jersey with a starting price of just 99 cents, “because we just want it the *bleep* out of this house”. By Monday morning, the jersey had received 36 bids and was already up to $207.50, according to Shutdown Corner.
Hernandez first wore #85 in his rookie season, before Chad Johnson (who famously changed his name for a time to Chad Ochocinco), joined to team and took over that number. Sports enthusiasts figure those items will go up in value as well.
Ironically, Johnson recently landed behind bars as well. Last month a judge threw the former NFL player in jail for 30 days, after he slapped his lawyers behind following a plea deal involving domestic violence. Johnson had head-butted his wife during an argument.