Ball from Cubs' playoff loss auctioned for $106,600
December 19, 2003
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) -- The baseball deflected by a fan in the stands during one of the Chicago Cubs' most agonizing losses was bought for $106,600 at auction Friday by a friend of late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray.
The winning bid came from Grant DePorter, managing partner of Harry Caray's restaurant. He told radio station WLS-AM he plans to solicit ideas from Cubs fans on how to destroy the ball.
DePorter said he plans to do the deed Feb. 26, when the restaurant organizes a worldwide toast to Caray. Caray died Feb. 18, 1998, four days after a heart attack.
``Kind of like a cleansing, a healing. ... We'll just get rid of this ball,'' he said. ``We wanted to make sure it wasn't hanging around for too long where people had to look at it.''
Cubs fan Steve Bartman got his hands on a foul ball that appeared headed for the glove of left fielder Moises Alou in Game 6 of the National League championship series. The ball ricocheted off Bartman's hand and the Florida Marlins rallied, beating Chicago 8-3.
The Cubs then lost Game 7 and missed a chance to reach their first World Series since 1945.
Thirty-seven bids had been made by the time the auction closed at about 4 a.m. Initial bidding began at $5,000 on Dec. 1. About half the bids were made in the final hours of the auction.
``The bidding was really fueled by three or four individuals, at the end,'' said Mark Theotikos, vice president of auction operations at MastroNet Inc., an Internet auction house in suburban Oak Brook.
MastroNet auctioned the ball on behalf of a 33-year-old Chicago attorney identified only as Jim. According to the company, he was sitting near Bartman when the ball was deflected. The man put the ball in his pocket after it bounced his way.
The ball was authenticated using affidavits, ticket stubs and other information, MastroNet vice president of acquisitions Brian Marren has said.
Theotikos said the size of the winning bid reflects the place the ball holds in Cubs folklore.
``Everyone knows who Bartman is,'' Theotikos said.
On the Net:
MastroNet Inc.: http://www.mastronet.com
Updated on Friday, Dec 19, 2003 11:00 am EST
Reminds me of Stephen King buying the van that ran over him and destroying it with a baseball bat. Lol. Wonder what kind of crazy things the fans come up with.