October 17, 2002

Barry Bond's Balls

Barry Bonds hits another historic home run and the man who ends up with the ball after a fight in the bleachers gets sued. The fan who actually caught the prize, which could bring millions at auction, had it stripped in a scrum in the bleachers. One of the contenders in the melee was there as a guest of a season ticket holder, and of course, the guy who actually paid for the seat wants a part of the action. Complicating matters is a "pre-existing" verbal agreement with fellow employees to split the proceeds if by some amazing fluke of fate, one, any, or all of those involved caught the ball.

News-Journal wire services SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds hits another historic home run and the man who ends up with the ball after a fight in the bleachers gets sued.

Last October it was a tussle over Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run of the season -- one man got a glove on it, but another took it home.

This time, it's a guy who got a ticket to the game after allegedly promising fellow workers to split any profits on the remote chance he caught Bonds' 600th career home run ball.

Time for me to drop my hat into the ring. For, oh, let's say 10% of the action, I could probably line up a crew of "credible witnesses" what would categorically state I deserve at least part of the proceeds. I distinctly remember (and my witnesses will verify this with proper coaching) driving up to a a public phone (can't seem to recall exactly where, might have been in Chicago) to make a call a couple of days prior to the game. As I pulled up, it began to ring. I picked it up, found out it was some guy dialed a wrong number trying to call a friend and tell him some good news about getting free tickets to a Giants game. This guy was so excited, he never really found out I wasn't who he thought I was, and proceeded to babble on about his good fortune. He then told me if he caught the magic ball, he wouldn't forget me. I remember distinctly, his name was Jay. Yeah, that's exactly how it happened! You can ask my wife, uhhhhh, Morgan Fairchild !!

So, who actually owns the ball? A recent poll of the baseball public shows divided results. Some say, it's gotta be the guy who originally caught the ball. Not his fault he's a wuss or too drunk and couldn't hold on to it! A valid point - there must have been 20 people who touched the ball before the whistle blew. Another group subscribes to the theory that the strong get the prize, and the one who actually ended up with the ball get's to keep it. Works for the NFL after a fumble, so there's established precedent. There are those who lean towards to season ticket holder who "donated" the seat. That could go either way. Was the season ticket holder a real fan who just couldn't make it that day, making him more deserving than some schmuck who goes to one game a year, or just an executive type who was given the tickets as a company perk and shouldn't even be allowed to attend the games? Then again, we'd always expect the socialists and liberals to award the proceeds to the fellow employees (Workers of the World Unite!).

Barry Bonds actually makes the most sense. When asked, he suggested they all get together, put the ball up for auction, and divide the proceeds. Mark McGuire's record homerun ball fetched almost $3 million, so everyone involved could expect to be a whole lot richer at the end of the day. Greed will only make the lawyers rich, and nobody wants that except the lawyers.

Then again, they could just give it to me for safe keeping ...

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at October 17, 2002 06:10 PM