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Fisk Home Run Ball To Be Auctioned

March 19, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ George Foster wants to cash in on a home run that nearly cost his team the 1975 World Series.

The former Cincinnati Reds left fielder has the ball that Carlton Fisk hit off the left-field foul poll to win the sixth game of the Series at Fenway Park. The Reds came back to win the decisive seventh game.

Foster has kept the ball in his trophy case all these years and plans to sell it in June to the highest bidder in a national auction through Leland’s Auctions of New York.

``At the time, there was no talk about the ball itself,″ said Foster, in Boston this weekend on a promotional tour with the ball. ``I just took it home with me.″

Fisk’s spectacular homer made Red Sox and baseball history, as he tried to will the ball into fair territory with his body language while moving down the first-base line.

Foster caught the ball off the foul pole and tucked it into his glove as he hustled off the field that night. The game finished late due to a rain delay _ so he tossed the glove and the ball into his locker, and turned in for the night.

``We won Game 7, so we packed everything back to Cincinnati,″ said Foster, who went on to play left field for the New York Mets for four seasons before retiring from the game. ``I put the ball in my trophy case, where it’s been ever since.″

Foster didn’t give the ball much thought until recently, when the baseball that rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs during the 1986 World Series fetched $93,000 at auction and a fan paid $500,000 for Eddie Murray’s 500th home run ball.

And when St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 70th home run ball sold for nearly $3 million, Foster realized the Fisk ball could be valuable.

Marty Appel, a spokesman for Leland’s, said auctioneers authenticated the Fisk ball based on unique World Series markings, scuff marks consistent with the play and video footage of Foster making the catch.

Foster, who lives in Connecticut with his wife and two teen-age daughters and holds sports clinics for children, said he isn’t sure how much the ball will fetch.

``The sky’s the limit,″ he said. ``It was one of the most famous home runs ever.″

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