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Bonds changes his
Collectibles with Barry Bonds' signature already command a pretty penny, with baseballs typically costing in the $300 to $400 range.
But the price is likely to go up soon, as the only way to get a new authentic Bonds signature will be through his Web site. Bonds has sold direct to the public before, but this time there will be a new hologram and a certificate of authenticity, which itself will actually be signed by Bonds, who will use a pen with a special ink that is registered solely to him by the U.S. Government.
Although Bonds' marketing agent Jeff Bernstein said Bonds will unveil a new signature in 2004, the most valuable authentic Bonds signature will continue to be the "Barry L. Bonds" that he signed in his early playing days (1983-1988), said Steve Grad, a senior authenticator for PSA/DNA, which certifies athlete's signatures. Grad said he has authenticated more than four variations of Bonds' John Hancock signed throughout his career.
The items on Bonds' Web site will include dual signed balls by Bonds and Willie Mays, with the date that they hit their 660 home runs below. The balls will be displayed in a glass case that has "660" etched on it. Another item will be a signed Russell jersey that has both Bonds and Mays' names and numbers on the back, and has "660" on the sleeve. A Bonds/Mays "660" collage signed by both players also will be for sale.
-- Darren Rovell