Marc Ecko with Barry Bonds' 756th home-run ball (Photo: Marc Ecko Enterprises)
If you haven't read or heard by now, fashion designer Marc Ecko paid $752,467 on Saturday (September 15) for the baseball that Barry Bonds hit for his record 756th home run.
What will he do with it now? Instead of keeping it for himself, he has decided to let the fans determine its fate -- which consists of three possible choices.
Ecko set up a website, Vote756.com, where fans can participate in a poll with three different results: Send it to Cooperstown (Hall Of Fame) intact, send it there with an asterisk branded with an iron -- to signify the controversy that has accompanied Bonds' home-run record -- or launch it into space.
The voting began Monday (September 17) and will last for one week.
What prompted Ecko to purchase the ball? According to the man, it was decided over dinner with some friends. "I was at a dinner and everyone was worked up; someone to the right of me was like, 'It's real, it's legitimate,' on the left of me someone was saying, 'No way, it's tainted, it needs a footnote,'" Ecko told MTV.com. "And someone across from me just rolled their eyes. Maybe I had too much wine that night, but I put my hand down and I was like, 'I'm going to get that ball.' "
Ecko further explained that he purchase the ball that broke Hank Aaron's homerun record because he wanted to share a collective experience with the public, putting its fate in their hands, thus giving the system a swift kick to the ass.
"I've cheated in life, I've done stupid stuff," he admitted to MTV, "but the systems need to be put on check and put on blast. And this is a lighthearted way to ... bring that back up. ... I'm not a judge and jury -- [the Bonds controversy is] not about me. I have an opinion, you have an opinion. It's fun. I'm having fun. Hopefully, overall, people will have an opinion."
Well what was Ecko's opinion? He had the first vote and said he immediately voted for the asterisk.
According to reports, Matt Murphy, the 21-year-old from New York who emerged from a scuffle with the ball on August 7, decided to sell it because of tax purposes.
Experts said Murphy would have owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes based on a reasonable estimate of the ball's value, even if he had never sold it. He may also have faced capital gains taxes as the ball gained value.
"This either makes him a lunatic or a genius, one of those two," Murphy said when told of Ecko's stunt. "I'm leaning toward genius."