Dropping the Ball

How one man gave away a tidy sum without a blink, and what it says about our money habits

I can't get the image out of my mind: "Mr. McGwire, I think I have something that belongs to you," 22-year-old Tim Forneris, a part-time grounds keeper for the St. Louis Cardinals, proudly decreed last fall as he handed over home-run ball No. 62--and with it probably the most expensive thing he would ever hold. Consider: a few weeks ago, a mysterious bidder paid $3 million to the guy who auctioned off home-run ball No. 70. I don't mean to pick on Forneris. Giving up the baseball was an honorable gesture. And he did get some fame, a minivan and McGwire...

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