Going, going, gone.
Heritage Galleries has rescinded its $1 million reward for Barry Bonds’ record-breaking home run ball.
Concerns about the safety of fans in the stadium and potential legal liability have forced Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas to withdraw its previously announced offer of $1 million to purchase the baseball that Barry Bonds is expected to hit this season to establish a new career home run record of 756.
"There’s a real concern that mania over the breaking of Hank Aaron’s lifetime home run record coupled with a reward for the ball could lead to fans’ injuries," said company President Greg Rohan.
Heritage announced last month it would offer any fan the $1 million payout or the option to consign the ball to one of its sales.
"After personally traveling to San Francisco and meeting with a senior Security Department official at AT&T Park about the potential for a melee in the stands, and discussing potential liability with our attorneys, we have reluctantly, but we feel prudently, withdrawn the $1 million bounty for the baseball. We didn’t hear of any way to prevent possible public safety problems, and we don’t want a fan or a child injured or killed," Rohan explained.
The Giants appeared relieved. Spokeswoman Staci Slaughter told Bloomberg News: "Anytime you have a large financial bounty on a ball where you can’t predict when, where or how it’s going to be hit into a large crowd, that does add a whole element of stress to the situation. This will alleviate some of that stress."
Heritage, however, remains interested as long as there is no bloodshed. "We will be happy to speak with the eventual owner of that ball about consigning it to an auction, but we are no longer interested in buying the ball, and if there are indeed any injuries associated with any scuffle for the ball, we would decline to handle it at all."
Bonds moved within nine of passing Hank Aaron’s record of 755 with a two-run shot Monday night, just his second since May 8.
The 42-year-old outfielder sent an 0-1 pitch an estimated 438 feet into the seats in right-center for his 13th homer of the year