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Bonds' 700th homer ball draws $800,000 bid

Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball brought a top bid of $804,129 Wednesday after a 10-day online auction.

The ball had received 240 offers by the time Overstock.com closed the bidding. The identity of the top bidder, nicknamed ''bomasterj,'' was not immediately made public.

Steve Williams of Pacifica got the ball after a scramble in the left-center field bleachers at SBC Park on Sept. 17 a mad dash that has fattened his wallet but also landed him in court. Timothy Murphy has sued Williams, contending he should get the ball because he locked it behind his knees while at the bottom of a scrum before Williams swiped it.

A San Francisco judge refused to hold up the sale, freeing Williams to go to auction. Lawyers for Murphy said they are continuing with their suit, and are seeking the proceeds from the ball's sale as damages.

Reached by phone Wednesday after the winning bid was announced, Williams said he'll quit his job as a broker's assistant in San Mateo, but has no idea what he'll do with the money.

His lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, speculated the ball's price will prompt more people to try to claim ownership.

''All of the roaches are going to try to hang on to Mom's apple pie and we're going to squash them,'' Horowitz said.

Bonds became the first member of the 700-homer club in 31 years, joining Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

In October 2001, Bonds' record-setting 73rd homer of the season sparked litigation that ended when a judge ordered two men who claimed ownership to split the $450,000 the ball fetched. Comic book art creator Todd McFarlane paid $3.2 million for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball in 1999.



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