Chat with Marc Ecko
Shortly after acquiring the ball in an online auction for $752,467, Ecko announced he would let fans decide the fate of the ball by voting at www.vote756.com. Options include sending the ball to the Hall of Fame, sending it to the Hall of Fame with an asterisk or banishing it to space. Voting ends Tuesday, Sep. 25 at midnight ET.
Ecko, a Yankees fan, voted to brand the ball with an asterisk, a reference to the belief of many Bonds detractors who say the slugger's numbers are tainted by alleged steroid use. Over 10,000,000 votes have already been cast.
Send your questions now and join Marc in The Show on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET
Buzzmaster (2:31 PM)
We're getting Marc right now!
Buzzmaster (2:39 PM)
We've got Marc!
Hey Mark what a great idea! how did you come up with it?
Marc Ecko (2:40 PM)
In short, I was in the middle of a late-night here in my office with a little too much to drink and my friends around me debating the record and its validity. We were yelling at each other and getting emotional about it. I said "guys, I'm getting that ball and we'll let America settle the debate." It was clear that MLB wasn't going to make a statement on the ball, so we decided we were going to make a statement.
Mike (Hoboken, Nj)
Do you believe the HOF will accept the ball with a brand on it?
Marc Ecko (2:41 PM)
The HOF's position, and I've been speaking with them there, the statistical odds that it will go to the HOF, because two of the options include it going there. I asked them if they'd take it marked and they said, yes, they would. I think they think it's healthy for baseball - this debate that we're having.
Marc Ecko (2:41 PM)
They're really good guys over there.
Marc Ecko (2:42 PM)
For me, I want to see it there. That's why, with two of the three votes, the statistical odds are that it ends up in the HOF.
Tyrone, Columbus Oh
Hey Marc, If people voted to send the ball into space, how would you get it on a space ship?
Marc Ecko (2:43 PM)
I didn't just pick that out of a hat, that idea. The notion of space was something done purposefully. There are third party services where they will send satelittes out into orbit. You can rent the service of putting something into orbit. You can put a tracking device on it too.
Chris, Chicago, IL
I'd say cover the ball in asterisks and instead of sending it to the Hall of Fame, send it to Bond's front door w/ a syringe and some flaxseed oil.
Marc Ecko (2:44 PM)
That was our fourth option, but I didn't think that was going to go over well with the kids.
Out of the three choices you proposed, which one would you choose?
Marc Ecko (2:46 PM)
I voted, before people knew the site was live, for the asterisk. The reason is that it's a lot bigger than 756. It has to do with the last 10 years in sports. It's a system that fosters its athletes to cheat. I want to be able to look at my heros and look at them as heros for a reason and doing it on their own. My ability to imagine doing these things and the very notion that it might not be what it actually is, is bad for the sport. You don't need that in the living room, when you're watching the game. You don't need to be having that discussion.
Jeff (Chicago, IL)
If branding the ball is voted to be the winner, will you please brand it more than once, so there's no possibility of it being obscured while on display?
Marc Ecko (2:47 PM)
Good question. Assuming that's what gets picked, we would work with them and their curator to make sure the whole story gets told. I don't have details in how we would brand it. I've got the image in my head - I like the image on our website. But I do have the committment with the curator that we will partner to make sure the whole story gets out there.
robert la ca
do you think Barry Bonds is the real home run king ?? What do you think about Barry
Marc Ecko (2:49 PM)
I think Barry is a great player. There's no dispute over his record. But the call and reponse between the participant of the sport and the spectator and the discourse of that that shaped history is as relevant as the record itself. The discourse that's generated by these moments has shaped history. Let's face it, it's not an aritifact from some ancient civilization. This is merely a footnote of this decade in baseball. This discourse and debate is the funnest part of sports from a fans perspective.
Rob Giorgi NJ/LA
put the ball in a box, with a letter identifying it, bury it in the ground and tell no one where it is....let the people of 2130 AD decide what to do with it
Marc Ecko (2:50 PM)
You're not helping me in proving that Jersey guys aren't crazy. It's bad enough that I'm a crazy Jersey guy. My answer is: Go Rutgers!
Mikey - Boston,MA
Are you going to do the same thing if A-Rod or someone else breaks the record down the line?
Marc Ecko (2:51 PM)
This is a very specific and unique moment. The players' union has a lot of work to do. The furor around the ball and the McGwire run up is a much different moment in baseball history. I've made my statement here. I hope the people vote and make their statement.
Marc Ecko (2:52 PM)
It's still a long ways to go. I remember Ken Griffey Jr. was supposed to break it. But guys get old, they get heavy.
Chris Starr San Francisco, CA
I understand you're not a Barry Bonds fan and that's fine, but wouldn't the $752,467 have been spent as a donation to charity? Isn't that a lot of money to waste on a baseball you have no intention of keeping?
Marc Ecko (2:54 PM)
Actually, as a private citizen who spends millions and millions on charity as it is and earns his money by working really hard, I think the way I spent the money is a good thing. This won't get swept under the rug. As a social issue, this is real. In terms of speaking about our values and pro sports. I think it's been good to get that debate out there. After 10 million votes, it's about seven cents a vote. I wanted to do this, I wanted to mix it up. I earned it. That's what life should be about. Good question. Fair question.
Sam (Cleveland, OH)
Bonds collects a ton of his own memorabilia, Has he contacted you about obtaining 756? He literally has storage units filled with his own stuff. Kind of weird huh?
Marc Ecko (2:55 PM)
No. There's no reaching out. I would like to hug it out with the guy, but it didn't happen. It wasn't for sale. The three options were made.
Chuz (Kailua, HI)
This is the reason the internet was invented. Good job.
Marc Ecko (2:57 PM)
We have created the ultimate media pundent. We're used to, culturally, talking media heads that effect opinion. The internet democratizes that. To me, this is exactly why the internet was invented. Can you take, for a moment and take this methodology to a sport like boxing? If you were to go to HBO and watch a boxing match and then go to vote to who wins. It would be amazing.
Marc Ecko (2:58 PM)
That is was why the internet was invented. People find it vulgar. Welcome to 2007. The internet is not going away. It's not going to change. Embrace it.
What do you think about Barry's comments about you?
Marc Ecko (2:59 PM)
Only someone from Toronto would ask that question. My answer is that I've been called worse. I did this because I have a strong set of opinions. I knew there would be shots. I have thick skin. It's about the ball and everyone gets to vote.
Marc Ecko (2:59 PM)
I appreciate everyone taking the time and to please go vote. The voting ends tonight at 11:59 ET. Tomorrow on the Today Show, we'll be announcing the verdict. It's been an amazing ride. Thank you.
Marc Ecko (3:00 PM)
For anyone who called me crazy, let's all hug it out.
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