Auction house withdraws $1M bounty on No. 756 Updated: June 12, 2007, 12:09 AM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- A prominent auction house has withdrawn
its $1 million offer on Barry Bonds' career-record
home run baseball citing its concerns over the possiblity
of a melee in the stands.
Bonds is approaching Hank Aaron's home run record
this season, and sports memorabilia experts have speculated
that the San Francisco Giants slugger's 756th homer
ball would command six figures at auction. Dallas-based
Heritage Auction Galleries upped the ante last month,
offering $1 million to purchase the ball.
We didn't hear of any way to
prevent possible public safety problems, and
we don't want a fan or a child injured or killed.
Rohan, president of Heritage Auction Galleries
But after a Heritage
auctioneer met with a security official at AT&T
Park, the company rescinded the offer.
"We didn't hear of any way to prevent possible
public safety problems, and we don't want a fan
or a child injured or killed," said Greg
Rohan, president of Heritage Auction Galleries,
the world's largest collectibles auction house
which last year auctioned Babe Ruth's 1933 All-Star
jersey for $657,250.
The Giants on Monday defended their security plan,
and said they never provided a copy of it to Heritage.
"The bottom line, and we are very experienced
on this issue, is we always have a very comprehensive
security plan that will be in place as Barry gets
closer to the record," Giants spokesperson Staci
Slaughter said. "We have met and continue to
meet with the San Francisco Police Department. Safety
is always our No. 1 concern.
"This guy just showed up one day at the ballpark
with no phone call in advance and asked to talk to
our security person, insisting that we give him a
copy of our security plan. We never give out a copy
of our security plan. It's inappropriate. We'll make
sure our fans are safe."
The highest price ever paid for baseball memorabilia
was set in 1999 when comic artist Todd McFarlane snagged
Mark McGwire's record single-season home run ball
for $3 million.
Baseball memorabilia prices have stagnated or declined
since the start of a widespread federal inquiry into
steroid use in 2003. The investigation has put intense
scrutiny on Bonds, who reportedly told a 2003 federal
grand jury he never knowingly used performance-enhancing
Sports memorabilia collectors say Bonds' involvement
in the scandal has depressed prices that his items
command at auctions.
Press - Updated: June 12, 2007, 12:09 AM ET