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Bonds Ball Draws Little Interest

April 12, 2002

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Call it the $52,500 catch.

That’s how much _ minus commissions _ Charles Murphy will receive for the ball Barry Bonds hit to tie Mark McGwire’s home run record.

Last fall, Murphy rejected a ``ridiculous″ $100,000 offer for No. 70, which he caught in Houston. Instead, visions of a seven-figure bonanza guided him to the auction block.

But a three-week online auction that ended early Friday generated just two bids for the ball. The winner got it for $52,500.

``Life is too short to say woulda, coulda, shoulda,″ said Murphy, a Houston real estate agent.

Bonds hit the home run Oct. 4 and ended the year with 73 home runs. This season he has five home runs in nine games.

``We were hoping for more than that,″ MastroNet president Doug Allen said of the final bid. ``It’s all based on what the bidder’s perception is.″

Allen said bidders were attracted to more affordable Bonds collectibles, including a jersey and bat.

Before Murphy caught the ball, Houston furniture magnate Jim McIngvale offered $100,000 to whoever snagged the prize.

Murphy still says he’s glad he didn’t sell on the spot. By holding off, he was able to showcase the ball at his son’s school. He said the youngsters learned ``super things can be achieved in life.″

McGwire’s 70th home run ball was bought for $2.7 million just three years earlier. That home run was the last of his record-setting season.

Bonds hit three more. No. 73, which could be worth more than $1 million unless someone breaks Bonds’ record this season, is the subject of a legal battle between two fans who claim rights to the ball.



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