September 26, 2007

An Asterisk It Is

Fashion designer Marc Ecko bought Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run ball - number 756 - for over $750,000. He then put the fate of the ball in the hands of the public. The results are in...

Finally, some news about Barry Bonds - the big-headed one - I want to hear. It's official - the ball Bonds hit over the fence for home run number 756, to break Hank Aaron's record, will be branded with an asterisk and sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Shoutout to Marc Ecko. The dude's pulled some crazy stunts in the past, but his decision to buy Bonds' home run ball and leave it up to the public to decide what to do with it was pure genius.

Bonds is the all-time home run record holder, and likely a first-ballot hall of famer. There's no doubt he is going to Cooperstown. But he's going to Cooperstown with an asterisk next to his name. Bonds has testified to a grand jury that he took steroids, but claimed he never thought they were steroids. The bottom line is that the steroid allegations that have dogged him over the last few seasons will never, ever go away. Already, thousands of baseball fans have put their own asterisk next to his name. In the end, his legacy will be determined by the fans. Some guys love him and think he is the greatest baseball player of all time. Others believe he is a full-fledged cheater, and hate him and everything he stands for. You can put me in the latter.

After buying the baseball Ecko started a website - - and left it up to the public to decide what to do with the ball. We had three options:

A) Bestow it intact to Cooperstown
2. Permanently brand the ball with an asterisk before sending it to Cooperstown
D) Launch it into outer space

Over 10 million votes were cast, including nine of my own. 47% of voters chose to send the ball to the Hall of Fame branded permanently with an asterisk. It's music to my ears.

On a side note, there was a great post in the Globe on Baseball Blog in regards to option C - let Josh Towers pitch the ball and anyone could knock it into outer space. I couldn't agree more.

I, too, voted to brand the baseball. I truly believe in my baseball heart that the ball is important and belongs in Cooperstown, but it deserves to go in tainted; branded with an asterisk to let the future generations of baseball fans know that Bonds knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

You can tell me until you're blue in the face that Bonds has never been proven guilty in a court of law, or that hundreds of other baseball players were cheating at the time. It doesn't matter. Bonds testified to a grand jury that he took banned substances - that's the only thing that matters. The book Game of Shadows proves it without a doubt.

Years down the road, if I have a son of my own, I want him to ask me why there's an asterisk on Barry Bonds' record-setting home run ball when I take him to Cooperstown. I want to be able to sit little SportsAndTheCity Jr. down on my lap, and explain to him the asterisked legacy of the big-headed one, Barry Bonds.

Thanks to one Marc Ecko, I'll be able to.


Anonymous said...

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