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TeamBoone
06-11-2008, 09:22 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Talk of decoy increases controversy regarding Griffey’s 600th home run ball
By Clark Spencer / Boston Herald


MIAMI - A treasured baseball that could be worth $100,000 is adding new meaning to "I got it."

When Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds hit his 600th home run into the bleacher seats at Dolphin Stadium on Monday, it set off an ownership dispute - and a negotiating session.

The ball is in the possession of a longtime Florida Marlins fan whom the team will identify only as "Joe."

Another fan says the ball is rightfully his. Griffey wants it, too.

Television replays show "Joe," wearing a replica of the jersey worn by Marlins pitcher Sergio Mitre, raising his glove in the air after apparently making the catch. Marlins President David Samson said "Joe" then took another ball out of his pocket and used it as a decoy in order to make his getaway.

"He maneuvered the other ball under the stands so he could quietly and quickly remove himself from the area," Samson said. "People were scrumming for a batting practice ball. He smiled and walked up the aisle."

The Marlins say the replays show "Joe" - a season-ticket holder since 1993 - made a clean catch with his glove.

"It’s Joe’s ball, and there’s no discussion," Samson said. "We looked at the video. He caught the ball on the fly, in his glove, and immediately left the area."

After the ball was authenticated by Major League Baseball, the Reds started trying to barter for the memento to give it to Griffey, who became the sixth major-leaguer to reach the 600 home run plateau. So far, "Joe" has refused to give it up.

Samson said he spoke with Griffey after the game and with "Joe" on Tuesday to try to broker a deal. He plans to talk to "Joe" again either Wednesday or Thursday, "to try to talk through what made the most sense for him."

"His desire would be, I guess, to do what’s best for him and his family," Samson said. "He respects Ken Griffey."

As for the other fan, Justin Kimball of Miami says the ball was snatched from his possession, and he has enlisted the help of a lawyer to try to prove it.

"At this point, we’re trying to find out who the rightful owner of the ball is and trying to get to the bottom of this," said Kimball’s attorney, Ariel Saban.

Kimball’s play-by-play, delivered through Saban: He caught the ball in his cap, and then "Joe" wrestled it away and fled.

Marlins right fielder Jeremy Hermida said he "couldn’t tell" who caught the ball after it sailed over his head and into the seats. Reliever Justin Miller, who was in the bullpen, said he initially thought that a man with blond hair and wearing a black shirt - Kimball - made the grab.

"I thought the blond kid got it," Miller said. "We all thought that."

After watching the replay, the relievers agreed with the conclusion that "Joe" made a clean catch.

"It went in his glove, and the glove hit Kimball’s cap," said closer Kevin Gregg.

Experts said the ball could be worth a bundle.

"We feel like Griffey’s 600th baseball at auction would bring, conservatively, $50,000 to $100,000," said David Kohler, president and chief executive officer of SCP Auctions, which has sold off several of the milestone blasts hit by baseball’s all-time home run king, Barry Bonds.

The highest-priced home run baseball ever sold at auction, $3 million, was the 70th home run ball hit by Mark McGwire in 1998. Bonds’ 756th home run ball, which broke Hank Aaron’s record, went for $752,467 at auction.

Before bids are taken on Griffey’s homer, if it gets to that point, Saban said he wants to make sure the ball winds up in the proper hands. Saban said he was seated in a nearby section of the outfield seats from where Griffey’s homer descended.

"Everybody just flew everybody out of the way," Saban said.

This wouldn’t be the first ownership dispute involving a historic home-run ball. Two men went to court to decide ownership of the ball Bonds hit for his 73rd homer of the 2001 season. The judge in that case ruled that the ball be auctioned and the two men split the proceeds.

"People know what these things are worth and are willing to do pretty much anything to get one," said Rich Mueller, managing editor of Sports Collectors Daily.



http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/other_mlb/view/2008_06_11_Talk_of_decoy_increases_controversy_reg arding_Griffey_s_600th_home_run_ball/srvc=sports&position=recent

GADawg
06-11-2008, 09:39 PM
call me stupid but if I had that ball I'd request a round of golf(maybe even at Isleworth)with Junior...and then it'd be all his.

why can't we all just get along;)

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 09:44 PM
Frankly, if Junior and/or MLB wants the ball, spend the $50,000 and buy it off the guy. That ball belongs to him and I wouldn't begrudge an average working stiff a chance to get a year's salary out of it. Heck, Junior makes enough, he should give the guy $100,000 on the stipulation that he has to give half of it to the charity of his choice. That's good publicity for everybody.

Sea Ray
06-11-2008, 09:49 PM
call me stupid but if I had that ball I'd request a round of golf(maybe even at Isleworth)with Junior...and then it'd be all his.

why can't we all just get along;)

You'd leave $100K on the table? I think anyone who got the ball would be stupid to punt $100K. I'd offer it to Junior, maybe at a discount, but there's no reason to just "give it to him". If Junior really wants it he can fork over the $100K without even feeling it.

Blitz Dorsey
06-11-2008, 11:10 PM
Exactly. No one knows if this "Joe" guy is poor. If he's able to more than double his annual salary for catching a baseball, good for him. I'm sure most people's opinions on what he should or shouldn't do is affected by how much $$ they make themselves. For example, I bet GADawg comes from money or is at least comfortable.

TeamBoone
06-12-2008, 12:33 AM
How poor can he be if he's been a season ticket holder since 1993. Season tickets ain't cheap!

jojo
06-12-2008, 12:37 AM
I'd give Jr the ball and ask that mlb donate $50K to the Komen Foundation.

red-in-la
06-12-2008, 12:41 AM
How poor can he be if he's been a season ticket holder since 1993. Season tickets ain't cheap!

There are season ticket holders on food stamps. :eek:

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 12:50 AM
call me stupid but if I had that ball I'd request a round of golf(maybe even at Isleworth)with Junior...and then it'd be all his.

why can't we all just get along;)

That's weird... I was thinking during the game what I would do if I caught it, and that's exactly what I decided. A round of golf with me, my dad, Griffey Jr, and Griffey Sr. Or someone else if his dad couldn't make it.

A round of golf with the Griffeys is something money cannot buy, and I'd much rather have it than $50,000. I'll admit it's different if you aren't very well off and there's kids to feed, but that's what I would do.

paulrichjr
06-12-2008, 01:08 AM
I laugh every time I read about an athlete talking about fans being greedy. If Griffey really wanted that ball he would pay for it. I would imagine that he has a ton of memorabilia from his career. A $100,000 check for that ball would buy a ton of stuff for that fan.

GADawg
06-12-2008, 01:34 AM
Exactly. No one knows if this "Joe" guy is poor. If he's able to more than double his annual salary for catching a baseball, good for him. I'm sure most people's opinions on what he should or shouldn't do is affected by how much $$ they make themselves. For example, I bet GADawg comes from money or is at least comfortable.

well I've worked pretty damn hard for what I have and feel good about the fact that it came that way....just don't feel like that's the situation to flex your opportunistic muscle...just my opinion.

As for the guy being a season ticket holder I bet he wasn't sitting in his usual seat. Those folks sitting in the right field bleachers since homer 599 were on a mission.

Team Clark
06-12-2008, 01:35 AM
That's weird... I was thinking during the game what I would do if I caught it, and that's exactly what I decided. A round of golf with me, my dad, Griffey Jr, and Griffey Sr. Or someone else if his dad couldn't make it.

A round of golf with the Griffeys is something money cannot buy, and I'd much rather have it than $50,000. I'll admit it's different if you aren't very well off and there's kids to feed, but that's what I would do.

Tiger and Jr. are very close. As much as I like Ken Sr. I would take a round of golf with Tiger and Jr.

BCubb2003
06-12-2008, 02:29 AM
To play a round with Junior and Tiger you'd have to catch Tiger's ball, too.

On the guy being a season ticket holder, remember ... this is the Marlins.

If it happened at Wrigley, they'd have to throw it back.

Things I might want from Griffey:

The pink slip to the Porsche.

A truckload of Nikes.

The 601st home run ball, just to be different.

Walt Jocketty's personal phone number.

Gainesville Red
06-12-2008, 02:36 AM
Hell, just ask the Reds to buy you Marlins season tickets for next year.

If you're really that financially strapped, get your priorities in order and stop buying season tickets.

If you have to have season tickets, let the Cast buy em for you.

Everyone wins.

cincinnati chili
06-12-2008, 02:44 AM
call me stupid but if I had that ball I'd request a round of golf(maybe even at Isleworth)with Junior...and then it'd be all his.

why can't we all just get along;)

I won't call you stupid, but I'd call you generous. I'm not in any position to give away $50-100K if it's legally and ethically mine.

Mario-Rijo
06-12-2008, 02:50 AM
Just a thought here, just because he has been able to afford them in the past and even prior to this year doesn't mean his present situation is still the same as it was even a few months ago. Unforeseen things happen, and at times monumental problems arise.

I'm speaking from experience here as I had been in a stable job the past 5 yrs until April when I hurt my back and was no longer able to do that kind of work. I have been unemployed ever since and jobs aren't easily attainable when you can't stand or walk for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Just sayin' stuff happens~

Gainesville Red
06-12-2008, 03:18 AM
Just sayin' stuff happens~

You're right, I didn't think my post through completely. Everyone's situation is different. Life is funny that way. I hope things work out for you.

StillFunkyB
06-12-2008, 07:00 AM
There are season ticket holders on food stamps. :eek:

That's just all kinds of wrong.

Roy Tucker
06-12-2008, 09:36 AM
Yeah, my knee-jerk reaction was "I'd just give the ball to Junior, I like him".

And then I started thinking about the illogic of that decision. If it were anyone else, I'd make them pay the going market $50K-$100K rate for the ball. It's a valuable piece of property. I'd laugh at them if they asked me to just give it to them for trinkets.

And then started thinking that if there was anyone who could write a $50K-$100K check without thinking twice about it, it would be Junior. Why in the world does a working schlub like me need to cut a multi-millionaire ballplayer like Junior some slack?

So my reaction to Junior would be "I've got kids to put through college, I'd like you to have it, I'll give you first shot at buying the ball".

I would seriously consider donating part or all of it to charity though. *That* is a kind thought.

Hollcat
06-12-2008, 09:45 AM
Just like Griffey said that he would love to stay in Cincinnati but that it wasn't up to him I'd say "I would love for Ken Griffey Jr. to have this baseball but that isn't up to me".

Sea Ray
06-12-2008, 10:13 AM
So my reaction to Junior would be "I've got kids to put through college, I'd like you to have it, I'll give you first shot at buying the ball".

I would seriously consider donating part or all of it to charity though. *That* is a kind thought.


This seems inconsistent. How does giving it to charity help put your kids through college?

gonelong
06-12-2008, 10:48 AM
Money isn't everything, but an infusion of $75K or so would allow me to retire a bit earlier, which means more time with family.

I'd tell Jr and/or the Reds that I'd sell it to them for 80% of the highest bid. Not greedy, and not passing up a golden opportunity to be able to help my family, or somewhere down the line, a charity.

GL

Roy Tucker
06-12-2008, 10:52 AM
This seems inconsistent. How does giving it to charity help put your kids through college?

You're right, it doesn't.

My thinking is, if my kids get college scholarships or I think they could use a little character building by paying for college themselves and I want to use that money for a higher purpose, I'd think about donating it to charity. That's all.

macro
06-12-2008, 11:13 AM
To play a round with Junior and Tiger you'd have to catch Tiger's ball, too.

On the guy being a season ticket holder, remember ... this is the Marlins.

If it happened at Wrigley, they'd have to throw it back.

Things I might want from Griffey:

The pink slip to the Porsche.

A truckload of Nikes.

The 601st home run ball, just to be different.

Walt Jocketty's personal phone number.

Embedded Random Thoughts. Cool! :thumbup: Or is this what software developers would call a Random Thoughts Easter Egg?

Nugget
06-12-2008, 11:37 AM
Good to see that Junior bashing is alive an well even off the field.

Nowhere in the article has it said that Junior has refused or that "Joe" has come up with a concrete request. The main point of the articule seems to be some lawyer for another guy muscling on the event with conjecture about who has the right to the ball. I'm sure that the REDS and Junior have put requests to Joe and Joe has said something like "I'll think about it".

But I'd go with playing catch with Junior along with a night in the dugout or even spring training with him next year.

Sea Ray
06-12-2008, 11:41 AM
Good to see that Junior bashing is alive an well even off the field.




I don't see any examples of Junior bashing in this thread. To what are you referring?

redsfan30
06-12-2008, 12:10 PM
Refer back to June 2004 and homerun number 500. The guy that caught the ball walked into the clubhouse, handed Junior the ball, shook his hand and walked away. Junior said to this kid, "hey where are you going?"

Just the simple act of not asking for a single thing, just a handshake netted this guy the following (if I remember correctly)

-Paid college tuition
-Cardinals season tickets
-Paid trip to the All Star game in Houston with seats right behind home plate

That ain't too bad....if you walk in all high and mighty and chest pounding, you're not going to make out well. Junior has proven he is more than willing to take care of you. I guarentee the kid that caught number 500 and was humble about it still keeps in contact with Junior. At the same time, "Joe" who caught 600 is playing hardball, and I'd bet you anything once this saga is done, Junior won't think another thought about "Joe" as long as he lives.

The right, the honorable and (in the end) profitable thing to do is to hand the ball over and not ask for a thing.

REDREAD
06-12-2008, 01:09 PM
Frankly, if Junior and/or MLB wants the ball, spend the $50,000 and buy it off the guy. That ball belongs to him and I wouldn't begrudge an average working stiff a chance to get a year's salary out of it. Heck, Junior makes enough, he should give the guy $100,000 on the stipulation that he has to give half of it to the charity of his choice. That's good publicity for everybody.

Yes. While it's nice that some fans give the ball to the players for a fraction of what it's worth, it's hard to blame someone for not giving away $100k.

I mean, no one would even consider giving Jr their 100k house, would they?
So why give him a 100k ball?

The reality is that the ball is worth more money to collectors than it is to Jr.

I remember that Casey got some milestone (maybe first HR?) at Pittsburg's new park and was kind of miffed that the fan that fan wanted money for it.
I mean, I can understand if Casey realizes it's just a ball and it's not worth $X to get it, but why get hacked off at the fan?

REDREAD
06-12-2008, 01:14 PM
But I'd go with playing catch with Junior along with a night in the dugout or even spring training with him next year.

I wonder if Jr would let my family and I move in with him for the next 5 years and then basing a reality show on that. I'd give him the ball for that :lol:

JaxRed
06-12-2008, 01:17 PM
Bottom line, you can help your family to the tune of 50-100 Thousand, or you can help a guy with probably 25 million in the bank. Sorry family comes first. 100K is a drop in the bucket to Griffey. If the ball REALLY means something to Griffey, write Joe (who obviously is the guy) a check for 100K, and all parties are happy.

RFS62
06-12-2008, 01:24 PM
I love Junior. I'd give him the right of first refusal. Let the market decide what it's actually worth, and give him the chance to match any offer.

JaxRed
06-12-2008, 01:37 PM
I love Junior. I'd give him the right of first refusal. Let the market decide what it's actually worth, and give him the chance to match any offer.

Agreed.

Rojo
06-12-2008, 02:06 PM
Seems like out whole system is based on exploiting whatever advantages you have. Why defer to a multi-millionaire?

REDREAD
06-12-2008, 02:53 PM
I love Junior. I'd give him the right of first refusal. Let the market decide what it's actually worth, and give him the chance to match any offer.

The problem with that is that the only way to discover the true market value is with a well promoted auction.. You can't tell the winning bidder that he can't have it until you check with Jr.

I say that you tell Jr the day of the auction. If he really wants it, he can send someone to bid on it just like everyone else.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 03:22 PM
Yes. While it's nice that some fans give the ball to the players for a fraction of what it's worth, it's hard to blame someone for not giving away $100k.

I mean, no one would even consider giving Jr their 100k house, would they?
So why give him a 100k ball?

The reality is that the ball is worth more money to collectors than it is to Jr.

I remember that Casey got some milestone (maybe first HR?) at Pittsburg's new park and was kind of miffed that the fan that fan wanted money for it.
I mean, I can understand if Casey realizes it's just a ball and it's not worth $X to get it, but why get hacked off at the fan?

That's sort of my point. If the ball is that valuable to Junior and/or MLB, they can pay for it. The end. The problem clearly lies in the player's thinking that the ball should belong to them, when the rules of the stadium clearly state otherwise.

Joseph
06-12-2008, 04:56 PM
Anyone remember the name of the generous kid who gave back 500?

Didn't think so.

At the end of the day you might get 10 minutes with Griffey, and a picture and a bat or a jersey for being 'generous'. Would you pay 50k for that? Would you pay 100k for that? Would you pay even 5k for it?

I adore Junior, but not me. If that balls worth thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of dollars, I'm selling it because I've got a mortgage, a car payment, and I don't make in a year what Junior makes in an afternoon.

reds44
06-12-2008, 05:04 PM
Anyone remember the name of the generous kid who gave back 500?

Didn't think so.

At the end of the day you might get 10 minutes with Griffey, and a picture and a bat or a jersey for being 'generous'. Would you pay 50k for that? Would you pay 100k for that? Would you pay even 5k for it?

I adore Junior, but not me. If that balls worth thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of dollars, I'm selling it because I've got a mortgage, a car payment, and I don't make in a year what Junior makes in an afternoon.
The generous kid also got an all-access pass to the Home Run Derby and All-Star game, including 4 tickets, airfare, hotel, all paid for by Griffey. Junior did some other stuff for him as well.

REDREAD
06-12-2008, 05:32 PM
The generous kid also got an all-access pass to the Home Run Derby and All-Star game, including 4 tickets, airfare, hotel, all paid for by Griffey. Junior did some other stuff for him as well.

100k could buy you a lot of baseball tickets.
Sure you wouldn't get your 5-10 minutes to talk with Jr, but man, that's a lot to give up. While I'm sure these athletes are gracious to people that give them a ball like that, I'm not sure they appreciate the magnitude of the generousity for a "commoner" to give up 100k. I mean, all that stuff Jr gave the guy didn't cost nearly 100k...

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 05:49 PM
Griffey hauls in over $77k per game, which means buying that baseball would be one game's worth of salary for him, or maybe one game plus a few innings of a second game.

For the common folk, that ball could pay off a house, pay down a house, be a down payment on a house, pay for college tuition for your children, pay off a car, pay off a whole host of bills, etc.

fearofpopvol1
06-12-2008, 06:32 PM
I don't understand why people are criticizing this guy. It's not like he stole the ball. Once the ball leaves the yard, it becomes property of the fan.

Would it be nice if the guy gave the ball to Griffey? Of course. But, he's not obligated to and nor should he be. I love Jr. and I respect him a lot. But when it comes to my livelihood, I put that above appeasing an athlete/superstar.

KronoRed
06-12-2008, 07:08 PM
I've never understood why a ball landing in the stands is automatically the property of the person who caught it, is there some sort of rule that says so? I know historically fans get to keep what lands in the stands but really do they have a legal right?

vaticanplum
06-12-2008, 07:17 PM
I've never understood why the round home run numbers are so important, actually. I mean, I do but I don't. Griffey has been the #6 home run hitter for 13 home runs now. Why isn't the ball he hit when he passed Frank Robinson worth just as much as this one? Why don't we ever hear of anyone auctioning off the final home run ball of a great? That, to me, should be worth more than anything, not only because it represents the number in the record books, but because it would be rarer for a person to recognize its importance at the time and hang on to it.

I understand that you have to make something important -- MLB can't mark every ball that's thrown to Junior from now until the end of his career. And of course the round hundreds are as good a thing to make important as any. But I just think it's really an arbitrary yardstick in a way.

fearofpopvol1
06-12-2008, 07:23 PM
I've never understood why a ball landing in the stands is automatically the property of the person who caught it, is there some sort of rule that says so? I know historically fans get to keep what lands in the stands but really do they have a legal right?

That's just the way it's always been.

Nugget
06-12-2008, 07:42 PM
Again there is nothing reported or otherwise that has said that "Joe" is asking for 50K or even 100K. All it as said is that the Marlins rep said that he would have to do good by his family.

Does that mean keeping it until it goes up in value or becomes a family heirloom. Does it mean that he asks for $16 million and waits. Don't know. All we know is that the REDS and Junior have talked to the Marlins and the Marlins have talked to "Joe".

"Joe" may want more than that just to pay for the legal fees if Justin ends up filing suit.

KronoRed
06-12-2008, 09:11 PM
That's just the way it's always been.

Well it's ridiculous IMO, and not just for this ball but any ball, the fan is AT the game, the ball isn't landing is his front yard, MLB should sue and claim he's got stolen property ;)

RFS62
06-12-2008, 10:10 PM
Well it's ridiculous IMO, and not just for this ball but any ball, the fan is AT the game, the ball isn't landing is his front yard, MLB should sue and claim he's got stolen property ;)


That will never ever happen. Thousands of precedents over a hundred years to point to.

marcshoe
06-12-2008, 10:20 PM
Well it's ridiculous IMO, and not just for this ball but any ball, the fan is AT the game, the ball isn't landing is his front yard, MLB should sue and claim he's got stolen property ;)

That's coming next. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Pseudo-Commisioner Selig wasn't considering that very thing.

RedFanAlways1966
06-12-2008, 10:26 PM
That's coming next. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Pseudo-Commisioner Selig wasn't considering that very thing.

Nah. He'll sell advertising space on the baseballs to high paying companies. Then each foul and home run ball will advertise for the company & make bucks for the cause. Like Spiderman movie logos on the bases.

"Mommy, look. I got a foul ball from Junior Griffey. It says Skyline Chili on it. I love my Junior-Skyline ball. Can we eat at Skyline twice a week for the rest of our lives? Please."

SandyD
06-12-2008, 10:27 PM
I'd give it to Jr if he wanted it. If he didn't, I'd give it to the Reds hall of fame. Wouldn't be that much of a sacrifice for me, since I just couldn't sell it.

Don't know why people will buy stuff like that. It's about the moment, not about "possession" anyway.

GAC
06-12-2008, 10:38 PM
Well it's ridiculous IMO, and not just for this ball but any ball, the fan is AT the game, the ball isn't landing is his front yard, MLB should sue and claim he's got stolen property ;)

Do they sue on fouls balls hit into the stands?

If you don't want me to keep it then don't let it land in my backyard.

Possession is 9/10th of the law.

KronoRed
06-13-2008, 02:01 AM
Do they sue on fouls balls hit into the stands?

If you don't want me to keep it then don't let it land in my backyard.


That's the thing though, it's not landing in your yard, you are in THEIR house, taking something that happens to land near you.

Now I'm not too serious about this, but I've always found it weird the way fans act like a baseball landing near them belongs to them.

GAC
06-13-2008, 06:03 AM
Now I'm not too serious about this, but I've always found it weird the way fans act like a baseball landing near them belongs to them.

Because that is the way it has always been. MLB teams have no problem using milestones like these as marketing ploys to increase attendance and get people to the stadium... "You could be the lucky fan to catch (fill in the blank)."

Those types of situations are like a winning lottery ticket to fans. And who wouldn't like to win the lottery? ;)

Then they're going to turn around and sue them to get the ball back? But ONLY on certain balls that hold some sort of historical significance (milestone)?

And what is MLB going to do with those balls? Charge the fan to see it on display.

So no.... I have no problem whatsoever with fans who catch those balls and try to turn a profit on them.

Me personally if I had caught the ball?

Meet Jr and the team in clubhouse, an autographed bat, and pay my legal fees, because I'm gonna break that bat over Dusty's head!

Seriously though.....

4 weekend season passes for '09, me and the kids get to meet Jr and the team, take some pictures, and get some autographed items. I think that is more then reasonable for both sides.

bucksfan
06-13-2008, 02:55 PM
It would be very hard for me not to take reasonable advantage of what the market bears for the ball. If it were illegal, certainly not. But it isn't. I cannot understand why anyone would expect the guy to fork over the ball for substantially less than what someone out there is willing to pay. $50K pays off my only debts and starts my daughter's college education. How in the world I could pass up that opportunity, whether it was something I earned through hours of hard work or lucked into (like winning a lottery) is beyond me. It's not theleast bit shady or unscrupulous or anything IMO. Now maybe I would end up dontating some of that $ or what not, but to pass that up altogether .... I just can't see it.