Derrick Thomas’ estate seeks to cash in.

Kansas City Strip 

Derrick Thomas’ estate seeks to cash in.

"U Can Touch This": It may not have reached the level of opulence -- or sophistication -- of this week's Gianni Versace auction at Sotheby's, but by Kansas City standards, last week's Derrick Thomas estate sale was big.

Or at least it was supposed to be. Enough police officers and vehicles were stationed around the late Chiefs linebacker's house that passersby might have wondered whether Tamarick Vanover or Bam Morris were holed up inside. But the predicted thousands of buyers didn't show up on Thursday morning, March 29, the first day of the three-day sale. Eventually, 150 people stacked up outside the house. Still, it seemed crowded: Fire codes slowed shoppers' progress in and dawdlers were slow to get out, so some shoppers waited more than three hours for their $10 peek into Thomas' closets.

The 33-year-old millionaire father of seven left no will when he died last year following a car accident, so administrators held the sale to pay claims on his estate. By Saturday, prices had been slashed, and the sale had been extended another day.

Although two mothers of Thomas' children succeeded in removing Thomas' used toiletries from inventory, there were plenty of ways for fans to get close to the Sack Man. Christine Hess, who drove three hours from Manhattan, Kansas, said she wanted anything of his -- even his shoes ("I'd smell them"). Hess posed for pictures in front of her hero's mailbox and told anyone who would listen, particularly The Kansas City Star's Steve Rock and KCTV Channel 5's Heather Staggers, that the football hero was her "everything" and that once she got in, she was "just going to go crazy." Later she could be heard in the big guy's master bath looking into a wastebasket: "This one has a hair in it!" She bought it.

Other fascinating items included a payroll check stub for $17,000 (valued at $50), a $488 team fine for being late to practice on September 29, 1999 ($10), and a personal invitation to a yacht party thrown by sports agent Leigh Steinberg ($25).

Among the mementos of Thomas' relationships with Hank Williams Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Jordan, perhaps the cheapest celebrity keepsake was on the refrigerator: an autographed photo of M.C. Hammer with a message to "DT." Yours for $25.

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