The Houston Astros have essentially SHUT DOWN an auction for a 2017 World Series ring ... claiming they have a contract in place to buy it back for $1.
ONE. AMERICAN. DOLLAR.
The ring -- which originally belonged to Astros scout David Brito -- was listed with Goldin Auctions as part of its May 2020 catalog and some expected it to sell for as high as $60,000!!
Of course, Astros players, coaches and staffers each got a ring for defeating the L.A. Dodgers in the 2017 World Series ... despite the fact, they're cheating-ass cheaters who cheat.
100% of the proceeds from the auction were going to be donated to the CAMCare Foundation for COVID-19 related causes at hospitals and health care centers.
But, Goldin tells TMZ Sports ... the Astros reached out to them and demanded they pull the item -- claiming they have a first-look deal with Brito to buy it back for $1, which he signed in order to receive the item in the first place.
If this sounds familiar, it's because it's the same policy as the Academy Awards -- which requires winners to give the Academy the first option to buy the award back for $1 if the winner (or a family member) wants to get rid of it.
Goldin tells us ... they were unaware of the $1 contract when they agreed to auction the item -- but they will comply with the Astros' demand and return to the ring back to the consigner.
We're told the consigner is NOT Brito -- but a ring dealer.
Unclear if the consigner will give the ring back to Brito so he can actually sell the ring back to Houston -- but at this point, it probably makes more sense for him to keep it.
After all, why give the Astros another ring they really don't deserve to have?!
As for the ring itself -- it contains 214 diamonds, 16 natural blue sapphires and 9 natural orange sapphires.
Wonder if the contract says anything about melting it down and selling the raw materials?
We reached out to the Astros for comment -- so far, no word back.