Lenny Ignelzi/AP

Hall of Fame Rejects Loan of Bonds’s Record-Setting Baseball

July 01, 2008 06:06 PM
by Josh Katz
Baseball’s Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday that Barry Bonds’s 756th home run ball will not be displayed within its hallowed walls.

30-Second Summary

The Hall said it had “unfortunately reached an impasse” in its talks with the ball’s owner, designer Marc Ecko. According to the Hall, Ecko had previously pledged to donate it, but that “changed to a loan,” and the organization generally only displays memorabilia that is permanently in its possession.

As an exception to that rule, Willie Mays loaned the glove he used to make his storied 1954 World Series basket catch.

In regard to the failed talks with Ecko, the Hall said, “Should the owner choose to unconditionally donate the ball to the museum at a future date, we would be delighted and of course, accept his offer.”

Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s record and hit his 756th career home run on Aug. 7, 2007, but his achievement was fraught with allegations of steroid use. Matt Murphy from Queens, N.Y., caught the ball and decided to sell it; Ecko then won the online auction in September by purchasing the ball for $752,467.

Ecko asked fans on the Internet what he should do with the baseball. The fans voted to stamp an asterisk on the ball and then send it to the Hall of Fame, over the other two options of giving it to Cooperstown unbranded or blasting it into space. It is unknown whether Ecko has placed the asterisk on the ball.

Bonds called Ecko an “idiot” for his actions, and has said he would “boycott the Hall if it displayed the ball with an asterisk,” according to the Associated Press.

Headline Link: Hall won’t take home run ball

Background: Bonds’s controversial route to the record

Steroid allegations
Fans hungry for the ball
Bonds hits 756
Ecko lets fans choose fate of ball
Bonds charged with felony, perjury and obstruction of justice

Related Link: ‘Griffey’s 600th Home Run Is Latest Disputed Souvenir’


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