The Man Who'll Cash In on Bonds

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Dino Vournas / Reuters

Fans reach for the ball (top left) after the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run, August 7, 2007.

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At first, you contemplated keeping the ball. How much did a potential hefty tax bill for your catch play into your decision to sell it?

Several people I consulted told me I would be taxed on this. But that was a fraction of the decision to sell the ball. I originally wanted to keep it. But you have to have a nice house with a big living room and a trophy case to put the ball in. You need a very large and expensive security system, because it'll be gone the next day.

The ball Mark McGwire hit for his 70th home run during his then record-breaking '98 season sold for $3 million, before the steroid suspicions clouded him. Due to Bonds' suspected steroid use, and the fact that he is one of the least liked players in baseball, a popular estimated sale price for your ball is $500,000. Seeing that difference, are you mad at Bonds?

If it wasn't for Barry Bonds, I wouldn't be in this situation. I'm madder at the media for blowing it out of proportion. Maybe they're telling the truth; maybe he's doing all this. I don't know. But I'm not directly angry at Bonds. There's no malice towards him.

You made a pre-game pact to split the profits from the sale of the ball, 51%-49%, with your friend Amir Kamal, who attended the game with you. Are you really going to stick with that?

Yeah, I'm going to stick to it. He's one of my close friends — we made a deal. As ludicrous as the deal may sound, we still made a deal. And I'm not that type of person.

Do you regret the deal a little bit?

A little bit. He didn't do thaaaaat much. But he helped out, he was there, and if he had caught it, he would have cut me the same deal, and stuck to it.

How do you plan on spending the money?

I'm going to do the right things with it. Invest it, start a business, a retirement fund. Who knows? It's still a little early. I don't have the money yet. And I don't know how much I'm working with.

A lot of people work their whole life and won't make the kind of money you've fallen into. All you've done is catch a baseball. Do you feel any guilt about that?

There are so many things out there — people scamming people, making millions of dollars. I feel kind of bad for people who have honestly busted their asses their entire life and have not made it yet. But I don't feel guilty. I just got lucky. Winning a $70 million lotto ticket takes no skill at all. Anyone can win it.

What's the minimum sale price for the ball that will make you happy?

I paid $200 to go to that game. I'm walking away in the plus, either way. Everyone is throwing around this $3 million figure — "last time, he made so much money." Whatever. I walked into that stadium down $200. I'm walking out plus however much it sells for. I'm going to be happy. The numbers people have thrown around, they're more than what I paid to go to the game.

Though you almost had to give up some of that to a San Francisco cab driver, right?

We get into the cab at the San Francisco airport to go to the hotel at Fisherman's Wharf. I looked at the meter, and it was $25 after five minutes. We were like, "What? That's ridiculous." So it gets up to $65, and we're passing the stadium, oddly enough. We're just running our mouths, like "We have tickets to the game. If we catch the ball, we're going to come into some money. What if we don't pay for this cab fare right now, but if I catch the ball, I'll give you two to three grand." He starts laughing, and he's like, "No, no, no thank you. I'll take the money." His loss.

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