A couple of days ago I did a blog about the types of people I originally thought might be interested in buying my life. Since the launch of my website back in March, other suggestions have come forward as possible motivations for a potential purchaser. You can read that blog here:-
Auction ends in 5 days!! “Who will buy it?”
One of the suggestions for a possible purchase motivation came from the website The Bachelor Guy, who suggests that this auction would make a great publicity purchase for a big company, or individual, who wants some big international exposure. The Bachelor Guy references the story of Barry Bonds, Matt Murphy and Marc Ecko, and the famous home-run ball.
Well, I must ask for forgiveness from our American friends, but I was not familiar with this story, as I am not a baseball follower (sorry!), but I went and did some research. For people not familiar with this story, THIS IS TRULY AMAZING!!! – “only in America!”
I’ll let Wikipedia explain…
Bonds’ accomplishments place him among the greatest baseball players of all-time. He has a record-setting seven Most Valuable Player awards, including a record-setting three consecutive MVPs. He is a fourteen time All-star, eight time gold glove-winner and he holds numerous Major League Baseball records. He currently holds the all-time Major League Baseball home run record with 762, and is also the all-time career leader in both walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688). He holds numerous other records, including the single-season Major League record for home runs (73), set in 2001.
The hype surrounding Bonds’ pursuit of the home run record escalated on May 14, 2007. On this day, Sports Auction for Heritage (a Dallas-based auction house) offered US$1 million to the fan that caught Bonds’ record-breaking 756th-career home run. The million dollar offer was rescinded on June 11, 2007 out of concern of fan safety.
On August 7, 2007 at 8:51 PM PDT, Bonds hit a 435 foot (133 m) home run, his 756th, off a pitch from Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals, breaking the all-time career home run record, formerly held by Hank Aaron.
The fan who ended up with the ball, 22-year-old Matt Murphy from Queens, New York, was promptly protected and escorted away from the mayhem by a group of San Francisco police officers.
The record-setting ball was consigned to an auction house on August 21, 2007, and sold with a winning bid of USD$752,467 on September 15, 2007. The high bidder, fashion designer Mark Ecko, created a website to let fans decide its fate.
In September 2007, Ecko was the winning bidder in the auction for Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 756th home run ball, paying $752,467 for it. To determine the fate of the ball, he started a website, www.vote756.com, which let visitors vote on what they think should happen to it. Visitors’ choices were giving the ball to the Hall of Fame, branding the ball with an asterisk before giving it to the Hall of Fame, and putting the ball on a rocket to be launched into space. Over 10,000,000 votes were tallied in all.
On September 26th, 2007, on The Today Show, Ecko revealed that the public, voting with a 47% plurality, wanted to brand the ball with an asterisk and send it to Cooperstown. 34% wanted the ball sent to the Hall of Fame without an asterisk and only 19% wanted the ball to be shot into space.
I believe there was some controversy over alleged steroid use, hence the asterix and space options, read more at either of the Wikipedia links below.
The thing that truly amazes me is $750,000, for a baseball!! I have a soccer ball, an Aussie Rules football, and quite a few golfballs here too. I might go out to the sports store and buy a baseball too, assuming they stock them here!
Are you reading this, Marc Ecko?
Barry Bonds – Wikipedia
Link to the auction:-