The owner of the baseball Barry Bonds hit for his last home run to set the all-time major league record announced at a March 13 news conference that he has enlisted the services of SCP Auctions to present the ball in an online auction March 31-April 12. SCP Auctions officials have predicted that the selling price of the No. 762 ball could approach $1 million.
Jameson Sutton, 24, of Boulder, Colo., said the online auction of the Bonds home run ball No. 762 will take place at www.scpauctions.com. Sutton’s family has been Colorado Rockies season ticket holders since the team’s inception in 1993.
Bonds’ record-setting home run occurred Sept. 5 at Coors Field in Denver off a 99-mph fast ball thrown by Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez. The ball, caught by Sutton, barely cleared the outfield barrier and Colorado outfielder Matt Holliday contended fan interference but lost the argument because he had pulled up short of the barrier.
Until the date of the press conference, the whereabouts of the ball went unknown.
According to a Sports Collectors Digest article, published in October of last year, the television footage of the home run showed a man emerging from the battle with the ball held over his head, but another fan who was near the scrum told SCD that he believes that the man who displayed the baseball on the replay actually had a batting practice ball that was knocked out of the glove by the home run ball. The fan believes the fan who brought the glove actually maintained possession of the home run baseball. Stadium security reportedly made no immediate effort to verify who caught the ball, and a story about the ball in the Los Angeles Times stated that Major League Baseball had stopped marking Bonds’ home run baseballs to distinguish them from regular baseballs.
According to SCP Auctions’ officials, they undertook an extensive process through several independent sources to authenticate that Sutton had the final home run ball. SCP Auctions studied the game film and interviewed those present, including Robert Harmon, who attempted to snare No. 762 in the ensuing scramble after the catch and who signed an affidavit that he did not have possession of the ball. As a final step in the exhaustive investigation, Sutton submitted to an independent polygraph test that confirmed the other findings. SCP Auctions thus was satisfied that Sutton had the Bond’s 762 home run ball.
Sutton did not come forward until now with No. 762 for three reasons: his belief that Bonds might hit another home run in the last three weeks of the 2007 season; because he thought Bonds would play in 2008; and due to a serious illness in the family.
David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said of the upcoming auction: “We are proud that Mr. Sutton has selected SCP Auctions to conduct the sale of this monumental piece of baseball history. We congratulate him on being able to capture one of the most historically significant baseballs in existence.”
Commenting on the feat the ball represents, Dan Imler, SCP Auctions’ managing director, said: “Baseball’s all-time home run record is, arguably, the most prominent individual record in all of sports. Barry Bonds’ career home run No. 762 baseball is the ultimate embodiment of that record and, as such, is one of the most important pieces of baseball memorabilia in the world.”
Speaking about No. 762, Sutton said: “I was hoping that Bonds might hit one to the opposite field. Given how hard (Ubaldo) Jimenez was throwing, I knew the chances were pretty good. I ended up being in the right place at the right time.”
SCP Auctions is no stranger to Bonds’ memorabilia, having sold home run balls No. 755 and 756 for $186,750 and $752,467, respectively, on Sept. 15, 2007. In August 2006, Bonds’ 715th home run ball, making him second on the all-time home run list surpassing Ruth, sold for $220,100 at auction.
Previous record-setting balls sold by way of auction include Bonds’ 73rd home run ball – surpassing Mark McGwire for the single-season record – in 2001 for $517,500; Aaron’s 755th ball that garnered $650,000 in 1999; and McGwire’s 70th home run ball in 1999 for a then single-season record that sold for $3 million.
In order to be approved for bidding on this baseball, potential bidders must complete a Qualification Agreement, and a Special Registration Form. Qualification Agreements and Registration Forms are available by calling (800) 350-2273 or may be downloaded from the company’s website at www.scpauctions.com.