Matt Murphy, the New York college student who caught Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball, has decided to sell. Murphy has consigned the ball to Sotheby’s/SCP Auctions, which has also been tabbed to sell the 755th home run ball, caught by a San Diego man.
Murphy may have also just created a new niche: fan memorabilia. He’s already selling his own game-worn jersey and cap on eBay…complete with ketchup stains.
Matt Murphy has returned from the Australian vacation he took right after snaring Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball. Apparently, the 21 year-old Queens native used the time away to decide what to do with the piece of baseball history some say could be worth at least $500,000.
On Tuesday afternoon, Murphy appeared at a San Francisco news conference with Southern California-based SCP Auctions in revealing plans to sell the ball through the company’s upcoming sports memorabilia catalog sale sale.
“It wasn’t hard,” Murphy said of his conclusion to sell the historic ball. “It was simple math. I’m upset by the decision I had to make. … I wanted to keep it. I’m young. I don’t have the bank account.”
The auction will run Aug. 28-Sept. 15.
SCP Auctions officials have conservatively estimated the value of the 756 ball at about $500,000, while the value of the 755 ball has been estimated in the range of $200,000.
In order to be approved for bidding on these two baseballs, potential bidders must complete a Qualification Agreement, and a Special Registration Form.
Murphy was traveling with a friend to Australia, when they stopped in San Francisco and decided to attend a Giants’ game. Murphy said they nearly missed Bonds’ historic at-bat because they left their seats to get crab sandwiches. "We were back just in time," Murphy said.
"We hustled. The ball took a lucky bounce. The scramble for the ball was the longest minute of my life. I think one gentleman kicked me in the back of the head. There were people on top of people on top of people, which I didn’t really understand. The San Francisco Police Department really helped me out by getting there quickly."
Murphy left the ball in a bank vault in San Francisco before jetting off to Australia. He returned to the Bay Area on Sunday to schedule today’s announcement.
Murphy said he is sticking to his word and will split the money with his friend Amir Kamal. Murphy will get 51 percent and Kamal will get 49 percent.
Sotheby’s and SCP Auctions are no strangers to Bonds’ memorabilia, having sold home run ball No. 700 for $102,000 on June 10, 2005, a feat only two other players in the history of Major League Baseball have accomplished: Ruth and Aaron. 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, sold in 2001 for $517,500 and Aaron’s 755th ball that garnered $650,000 in 1999.
Earlier this week, Murphy launched this eBay auction selling the Jose Reyes Mets’ jersey he was wearing when he emerged from a mad scramble with the ball in his grasp. One eBay bidder had pledged $100 as of early Tuesday morning. Murphy is also selling the cap he wore that night but had no immediate takers at the $100 minimum bid.
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