The baseballs Barry Bonds hit to tie and break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record sold Saturday for a combined $939,217.
|Mark McGwire 70th of season||$3 million||1999|
|Babe Ruth 1933 1st All Star game HR||$805,000||2006|
|Barry Bonds 756th||$752,467||2007|
|Hank Aaron 755th (final)||$650,000||1999|
|Barry Bonds 73rd of season||$517,500||2001|
|Eddie Murray 500th||$280,000||1996|
|Barry Bonds 715th||$220,100||2006|
|Barry Bonds 755th||$186,750||2007|
|Sammy Sosa 66th of season||$150,000||1999|
|Mickey Mantle 500th||$144,000||2007|
|Babe Ruth 1st HR at Yankee Stadium||$126,500||1998|
|Barry Bonds 700th||$102,000||2005|
|Barry Bonds 70th of season||$14,400||2007|
|Ken Griffey Jr. 500th||$0 returned by fan||2004|
|Frank Thomas 500th||$0 returned by fan||2007|
The auction for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run baseball came to an end after 19 days of open bidding Saturday, with a late flurry pushing the final price among the highest ever paid for a piece of baseball memorabilia. The winning bid from a buyer who wasn’t immediately identified was $627,056, but with the 20% buyer’s premium charged by SCP Auctions, which conducted the sale, the realized price was $752,467.
It is believed to be the third highest priced home run ball ever sold, trailing only the one that made Mark McGwire the first player in history to reach 70 homers in a season and a ball hit by Babe Ruth for the first home run in All Star game history during the 1933 season which was sold last July.
The Bonds ball outpaced the final ball Hank Aaron hit for a home run as a Major Leaguer, which sold for $650,000 in 1999.
A late bidding war doubled the going rate for the ball between mid-afternoon and the close of the auction. As expected, most of the action began once bidding went into an extended period after its initial close. SCP kept the auction open as long as a bid was made within a 30-minute time period. Once 30 minutes passed without a bid, the sale was declared over.
Another as yet unidentified buyer paid $186,750 Saturday for Bonds’ 755th home run ball that had been caught by San Diego resident Adam Hughes earlier this summer. The final price for that ball was $155, 625 with the buyer’s premium increasing the realized price. Just 11 bids were made for the ball which put Bonds into a temporary tie with Aaron days before the record-breaking homer.
Hughes told the Associated Press he would probably invest some of the money, go on a cruise and use a portion of it to assist a cousin who just started college.
Bonds’ 756th home run ball surpassed expectations that pegged its eventual selling price closer to $500,000. The ball was retrieved in the AT&T Park stands by New York Mets’ fan Matt Murphy who consigned it to SCP and will share the proceeds with a friend who attended the game with him. 31 bids were placed before the ball was sold about 9:40 PM Eastern time Saturday.
Murphy once thought about keeping the ball but tax implications and other factors led him to decide to sell after returning from a trip to Australia.
"I had hoped to keep the ball, but when I determined that was not the best strategy at this stage of my life, this definitely was the right decision," Murphy said in a statement released after the sale. "It is an honor to be a part of baseball history, and I wish the new owner well with whatever they elect to do with the ball."
Murphy was celebrating Saturday night and also says he’ll invest his share of the proceeds.
Bonds left Saturday night’s game with San Diego after suffering an injury. He currently has 762 career home runs.
SCP is the same auction house which recently sold the high grade T206 Honus Wagner card for $2.8 million. The company will issue a news release about the sale Monday, when it’s possible the winning bidders will be identified.