Published September 15, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds' record-breaking 756th home run ball was auctioned Saturday for $752,467, well more than the estimates by memorabilia experts.
Home run No. 755, the ball that tied the record, went for $186,750, according to Sotheby's/SCP Auctions. Both final prices included the winning bid plus a 20 percent buyer's fee, according to the auction houses handling the sale.
Bonds broke Aaron's record of 755 with a shot into the right-center field seats on Aug. 7 off of Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik in San Francisco.
Matt Murphy, a 21-year-old student and construction supervisor from New York, emerged from a scuffle with the record-breaking ball after paying $100 for a $12 ticket during a layover on his way to Australia from his hometown.
"I had hoped to keep the ball, but when I determined that was not the best strategy at this stage of my life, this definitely was the right decision," Murphy said in a statement released after the sale. "It is an honor to be a part of baseball history and I wish the new owner well with whatever they elect to do with the ball."
Experts had predicted the ball that tied Hank Aaron's home run record would fetch about $200,000, and that the record-breaker would be sold for least $500,000.
"I feel like I did the right thing with it," said Adam Hughes, 34, a plumber from La Jolla who came up with No. 755 in the left-center field seats in San Diego on Aug. 4.
Hughes said that after taxes and auction house fees, he expects to take home about $90,000 from the sale. He said he would probably invest some of the money and use some of it to help out a cousin who just started college. He might also go on a cruise, he said.
Both buyers did not want to be identified, said a spokesman for SCP Auctions.
While the price for No. 756 exceeded expectations, the ball did not come close to the $3 million that was paid for St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire's single-season home run record ball in 1998.
Most memorabilia experts believe Bonds' last career home run, which will set the new record, will garner more than $1 million.