We now know who owns what could be Barry Bonds’ final home run ball…and what he plans to do with it.
Jameson Sutton, 24, of Boulder, Colo. has been identified as the owner of Barry Bonds’ 762nd home run ball and has consigned it to SCPAuctions. The auction will take place March 31 to April 12.
Bonds’ record-setting 762nd home run occurred Sept. 5 at Coors Field in Denver off a 99-mph fast ball thrown by Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez. The ball, captured by Sutton, barely cleared the outfield barrier and Colorado outfielder Matt Holliday contended fan interference but lost the argument because he had pulled up short of the barrier.
He talked about the moment and where the ball has been during a Thursday news conference.
David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said of the upcoming auction: "We are proud that Mr. Sutton has selected SCP Auctions to conduct the sale of this monumental piece of baseball history. We congratulate him on being able to capture one of the most historically significant baseballs in existence."
Commenting on the feat the ball represents, Dan Imler, SCP Auctions’ managing director, said: "Baseball’s all-time home run record is, arguably, the most prominent individual record in all of sports. Barry Bonds’ career home run number 762 baseball is the ultimate embodiment of that record and, as such, is one of the most important pieces of baseball memorabilia in the world."
Sutton’s family has been Colorado Rockies season ticket holders since the team’s inception in 1993.
"I was hoping that Bonds might hit one to the opposite field," Sutton said. "Given how hard (Ubaldo) Jimenez was throwing, I knew the chances were pretty good. I ended up being in the right place at the right time."
Major League Baseball stopped authenticating Bonds home run balls after Bonds passed Hank Aaron for the record earlier in the 2007 season. SCP Auctions undertook an extensive process through several independent sources to authenticate that Sutton had the final home run ball.
SCP studied the game film and interviewed those present, including Robert Harmon, who attempted to snare No. 762 in the ensuing scramble after the catch and who signed an affidavit that he did not have possession of the ball. As a final step in the exhaustive investigation, Sutton submitted to an independent polygraph test that confirmed the other findings. SCP Auctions thus was satisfied that Sutton had the Bond’s 762 home run ball.
Sutton did not come forward until now with No. 762 for three reasons: his belief that Bonds might hit another home run in the last three weeks of the 2007 season; because he thought Bonds would play in 2008; and due to a serious illness in the family.
Sutton will use a portion of the proceeds to help his family. His father, David Sutton, is battling lung cancer and is currently in the hospital.
"I just want to help my family," he said. "I’ll pay his medical bills, for their house, whatever. I gladly will."
SCP Auctions is no stranger to Bonds’ memorabilia, having sold home run balls No. 755 and 756 for $186,750 and $752,467, respectively, on Sept. 15, 2007. In August 2006, Bonds’ 715th home run ball, making him second on the all-time home run list surpassing Ruth, sold for $220,100 at auction.
Previous record-setting balls sold by way of auction include Bonds’ 73rd home run ball — surpassing Mark McGwire for the single-season record — in 2001 for $517,500; Aaron’s 755th ball that garnered $650,000 in 1999; and McGwire’s 70th home run ball in 1999 for a then single-season record that sold for $3 million.
In order to be approved for bidding on this baseball, potential bidders must complete a Qualification Agreement, and a Special Registration Form available on the company’s website.
Auction of Bonds’ 755 and 756 plus list of highest prices paid for home run balls.