How much would you pay for a piece of history?
For one baseball fan, $3 million was a fair price for Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from the 1998 homer chase.
Todd McFarlane is an avid baseball collector, and at the beginning of “Long Gone Summer” shows off his incredible collection. He’s got Sammy Sosa’s 33rd home run from the same season-- a record breaker as it was Sosa’s 20th homer in June, McGwire’s first homer from that season, which he hit on Opening Day, among many others.
But the “Big Boy,” as McFarlane calls it, ran him $2.7 at auction. Add taxes and fees, and the final bill ran “a hair over $3 million.”
But why buy the baseballs over memorabilia from other sports?
“If Wayne Gretzky breaks a goals scored record,” McFarlane said on “Long Gone Summer,” “He puts the puck in the net, ‘Time!’ and they go get the puck and they give it to Wayne. Michael Jordan scores the most points, ‘Time!’ Somebody gets the most touchdowns, ‘Time!’ (and all the milestone balls are given to the athletes).
“You hit that home run, and you set any kind of record with that home run, could be a guy in the bleachers, one of the bleacher bums goin, ‘I’ve got the ball. This ball right here is history.’
“You’re in the middle of that story. That ball put you in the middle of that story.”