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Friday, August 10, 2007
California company to put Bonds' record-tying ball on auction block

Associated Press

It did not take long for the plumber who has Barry Bonds' record-tying 755th home run ball to decide to cash in.

Adam Hughes, who got the ball Aug. 4 in a game at Petco Park in San Diego, said Friday that he was going to sell it through SCP Auctions in Mission Viejo, Calif.

The minimum bid price has not been determined. The same auction house sold Bonds' 700th homer ball for $102,000 in 2005.

The auction house, which is a partner of Sotheby's and specializes in high-end sports items, said the ball would be available in an online auction Aug. 28-Sept. 14.

It's the marquee piece in an auction that's expected to include about 1,300 lots of memorabilia.

The minimum bid price for the ball has not been determined.

With his 755th home run, Bonds tied Hank Aaron for the all-time lead in major league home runs. Three days later, he broke the record.

Sports collecting experts say the most valuable Bonds ball will be his last home run. And the value of that may be tempered over suspicions that Bonds used steroids and because New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has a chance of breaking the record within the next decade.

However, it might not fetch as much as the $3 million a collector paid for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball of 1998. Three years later, Bonds broke that single-season record.

Hughes, 33, said he expected to share the money with the cousin who attended the game with him. With the remaining money, he plans to pay off some debts, donate to charity and then "sock away'' whatever is left.

Matt Murphy, the 21-year-old New York college student who caught Bonds' record-breaking ball in San Francisco, told NBC's "Today Show'' on Thursday that he was leaning toward keeping his trophy because he's sentimental about it, even though it could fetch around $500,000.

"It's the greatest American sports accomplishment in history,'' Murphy said.