A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Online Auctioneer Expects Bonds’ 755th To Fetch $200,000 To $300,000
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds’ record-tying baseball is hitting the online auction block this month, and it would be worth a lot more than a crummy $200,000 if only the world liked Bonds more, the auctioneer said Friday.
“If Bonds were loved by all fans, the price could be double,” sighed David Kohler. “Maybe more.”
Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said the ball that became Bonds’ 755th home run and was caught by Adam Hughes, a 33-year-old plumber, at the San Diego ballpark on Aug. 4, will “probably sell in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.”
That is more than Bonds’ 700th home run sold for ($102,000), and a lot more than a baseball sells for at a sporting goods store ($4).
Kohler said the ball currently resides in a vault at the auction house in Mission Viejo (Orange County), just down the road from Dodger Stadium. It has already been authenticated by baseball officials, who examined it for the secret markings that were placed on all balls pitched to Bonds as he approached the record.
There was a tiny “B” and a number and another invisible mark on the ball. After they were verified, Major League Baseball slapped a hologram on the ball, too. All of those markings are included in the sales price.
The buyer must pay a 20 percent commission — known in the auction business as a “buyer’s premium” — on top of the sales price. The online auction, held in conjunction with Sotheby’s auction house, runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 14.
Kohler said he would like to be the auctioneer who handles the sale of the record-breaking 756th home run ball, which was caught in San Francisco on Tuesday by 22-year-old Matt Murphy of New York. Kohler said he has been unable to contact Murphy, who may be in Australia. Murphy has said he was not taking the ball on his trip.
“Hopefully he isn’t playing with it,” Kohler said.
On Thursday, Murphy told a TV interviewer that the ball represented the “greatest American sports accomplishment in history” and that he was likely to keep the ball himself.
In 1999, the 755th home run ball of Hank Aaron, the previous record holder, sold for $650,000 — more than twice what Bonds’ 755th ball is expected to fetch.