Guess who’s bidding for the ball that broke Hank Aaron’s record?
If the name Grant DePorter rings a bell, you’re either a Chicagoan or somone who remembers the fate of the ball that ruined the Cubs’ chances of finally getting to the World Series a few years ago.
DePorter is one of the folks making a run at Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball in the current SCP Auction. He loves baseball. After all, he’s the guy who runs Harry Caray’s restaurant. But DePorter’s motivation for buying the ball might differ from some of the others who have been bidding or will before the auction closes Saturday night.
He’s not saying but DePorter might be ready to give the Bonds ball the "Bartman treatment". In 2004, he bought the ball Cubs’ fan Steve Bartman snatched away from Moises Alou that, if caught, might have put the Cubs into the 2003 World Series. Instead of keeping it on his mantle, DePorter stuck it in a blender-like creation in front of TV cameras and destroyed the unpleasant reminder of yet another futile season. The ball was later boiled and the resulting steam was captured, distilled and used in pasta sauce.
"If we get it, we don’t know what we’re going to do with it yet," DePorter told the Chicago Sun-Times of his bid for the Bonds ball. "But it’s a significant piece of baseball history."
He’s currently reported to be the high bidder at over $230,000.
"I thought we would be done at $40,000 when bidding for the Bartman ball, but we paid $114,000."
DePorter has a clone in Utah. One fan has created BlowUptheBall.org, a website aimed at raising capital to buy the ball and destroy it.
Related story: Announcement of Bonds’ 755 and 756 home run ball auction