Sotheby’s with SCP Auctions has secured Barry Bonds’ 755th and the record-breaking 756th home run balls for its Internet auction, which ends Sept. 15.
SCP Auctions officials have conservatively estimated the value of the 756 ball at about $500,000, while the value of No. 755 has been estimated in the range of $200,000.
In order to be approved for bidding on these two baseballs, 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.
“This is a historic event in the field of sports memorabilia,” said David Kohler, president of SCP. “Never before has two baseballs generated more curiosity and passion throughout a nation of baseball fans and collectors.”
Commenting on the feat each ball represents, Dan Imler, SCP Auctions’ managing director, said: “For 33 years, 755 was thought to be an unreachable benchmark for baseball’s greatest sluggers, a seemingly immortal feat of power and endurance. Barry Bonds’ career home run No. 755 and No. 756 baseballs represent the achievement of perhaps the most hallowed record in all of sports.”
The man who caught home run ball No. 756, Matt Murphy, was traveling with a friend to Australia, when they stopped in San Francisco and decided to attend a Giants game. Murphy said they nearly missed Bonds’ historic at-bat because they left their seats to get crab sandwiches.
“We were back just in time,” Murphy said. “We hustled. The ball took a lucky bounce. The scramble for the ball was the longest minute of my life. I think one gentleman kicked me in the back of the head. There were people on top of people on top of people, which I didn’t really understand. The San Francisco Police Department really helped me out by getting there quickly.”
Sotheby’s and SCP Auctions are no strangers to Bonds’ memorabilia, having sold home run ball No. 700 for $102,000 on June 10, 2005, the ball from a feat only two other players in the history of Major League Baseball have accomplished: Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. 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, sold in 2001 for $517,500 and Aaron’s 755th ball that garnered $650,000 in 1999.
Sotheby’s and SCP Auctions will offer Bonds’ Nos. 755 and 756 home run balls as part of their approximately 1,300-lot Internet auction. Other items available during the Aug. 28-Sept.15 sale include the second offering of material from the estate of Casey Stengel and the Del Crandall memorabilia collection. Additional memorabilia highlights include a fantastic horde of early handwritten Ted Williams letters, a beautiful PSA/DNA-graded 7.5 Babe Ruth single-signed baseball and full-sized World Series trophies.
Card collectors will enjoy the second offering from the New York City find of high-grade T206 tobacco cards and more from the collections of Allan Schwartz (1951 Bowman Willie Mays PSA 9 MINT, 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank PSA 2, 1912 T215 Pirate Cigarettes Joe Lake PSA 6 EX-MT – the highest PSA graded T215) and Robert Feinberg including 1910-11 M116 Ty Cobb PSA 8 NM-MT and 1910-11 M116 Honus Wagner PSA 8 NM-MT, T206 Ty Cobb Green Portrait PSA 7 and complete baseball, football and hockey sets from the 1950s and 1960s.
For more information, go to www.scpauctions.com.