Selling sports memorabilia can be a grim business sometimes. This is one of those times.
Not long after the Department of Corrections announced that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had committed suicide in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, the phone started ringing at Sportsworld in Saugus.
Owner Phil Castinetti said people were looking for items — jerseys, pictures, footballs, anything — that Hernandez signed before he was locked up for life for the 2013 murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. As it turns out, Castinetti does have a few things, and they’re selling well since his death.
Thursday, Castinetti sold a couple of signed, framed photos of the former Pats player for $250 each.
“It’s not crazy money, but in another two weeks, nobody’s going to want them,” he said.
Asked if he feels uncomfortable about cashing in on Hernandez’s death, Castinetti said he does.
“But, hey, that’s my business,” he said. “That’s how it works.”
A few years ago, Castinetti bought a letter that Hernandez had sent to a guy who’d written to him in prison. He then turned around and sold the letter to TMZ for $18,000, pocketing a decent profit on the deal. This week, Castinetti said, a young woman called to say she had a letter written by Hernandez in which he professed his innocence.
“She wanted $15,000 for it,” said Castinetti. “That was too much for me.”