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Yankees slugger Aaron Judge signs autograph deal with Fanatics

One of the most coveted signatures in all of sports has signed on the dotted line.

After a heavy courtship by memorabilia companies, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has signed an exclusive autograph deal with Fanatics.

Terms were not disclosed, but Judge's agent, David Matranga, said that it was a long-term deal.

"We've been really selective on what deals we wanted to do, but after the All-Star break it seemed the right time to do this one," said Judge, whose only other endorsements are with Rawlings and Under Armour.

During the first week of July, one of Judge's signed rookie cards sold for $14,655 on eBay. Two weeks ago, the jersey that Judge wore for his MLB debut was sold by Steiner Sports for a sum of $160,644. Judge hit his first home run in his debut.

On its website, Fanatics is selling 8-by-10-inch photos with Judge's signature for $350. A signed Yankees hat is $400, a signed batting helmet is $500, a signed bat is $600 and a signed replica jersey is $650.

"As a kid growing up in California, I collected autographs," Judge said at a Fanatics private signing on Sunday. "I got [Giants shortstop]Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds and actually got Willie Mays a couple times."

Judge, who won the All-Star Home Run Derby said that growing up, he used to perfect his signature in classroom notebooks while in school, dreaming of the day he would someday sign.

While Judge hasn't said anything publicly, sources said he was not happy with the way his game-used jerseys were put up for bid without his having any knowledge of it. The jersey Judge wore on Mother's Day, which was also Derek Jeter's number retirement, is to be auctioned off next week by Heritage Auctions. Steiner has the right to get some of Judge's jerseys through its memorabilia deal with the Yankees.

Judge's batting gloves, bats and shoes are his property, but his jerseys are property of the team. The deal with Fanatics doesn't include rights to his game-used memorabilia.

Since the All-Star break, Judge has hit .164 and struck in 30 consecutive games. He ranks second in Major League Baseball in home runs (35), seven behind the Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton.

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