Sat, Aug 05, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Bond's 715th home run ball fetches US$220,000

AP , SAN FRANCISCO

Barry Bonds' 715th home run ball fetched a winning auction bid of US$220,100 on Thursday, much better than experts predicted.

The home run moved the troubled San Francisco Giants star past Babe Ruth for second place on the Major League Baseball career list.

Winning bidder Marc Chase is an exotic car merchant who owns dealerships in La Jolla, Las Vegas and Silicon Valley. The 44-year-old Chase plans to pick up the ball from owner Andrew Morbitzer next week. The ball will then be shown off at his car businesses.

"I didn't think I was going to get it so I was ecstatic, I was over the top," Chase said. He said the steroid controversy involving Bonds didn't factor into his decision to bid on the ball.

Morbitzer was waiting in line for beer and peanuts on May 28 when Bonds hit the home run.

"For standing in line waiting for a beer and something to eat -- you can't be unhappy with an amount like that," Morbitzer said.

For several moments, the ball appeared to be beyond anyone's reach. It sat lodged on an elevated platform in center field, then trickled off the roof. Morbitzer caught the ball with one hand.

The 38-year-old marketing director said he might use the proceeds from the ball to place a down payment on a home in San Francisco. He also said he planned to donate 10 percent of the proceeds to the charity Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.

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