YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Bonds Homer a Pile Driver

October 22, 2002|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO--It didn't go over the river and through the woods, but Barry Bonds' moonshot home run off Angel closer Troy Percival in the ninth inning of World Series Game 2 Sunday night, a prodigious blast that traveled an estimated 485 feet, did go through a tunnel halfway up the right-field bleachers.

David Behrend, 34, a real estate investor from Santa Monica, was standing with his sister by the tunnel near Section 238 in Edison Field during the ninth, hoping to make a quick exit after the last pitch, when Bonds' shot went over his head, bounced twice through the tunnel and off a concession stand.

"I ran about 10 yards to get it, and five guys piled onto me, like it was a fumble recovery," said Behrend, a Dodger fan and a native of South Africa. "The security guards pulled them off of me, and one guy offered me $500 on the spot. I said, 'It's not for sale.' "

To authenticate the ball, Behrend had a stadium security guard, Connie Hernandez, write her name, phone number and badge number on it. Hernandez verified Behrend's story -- "Everything he said is true," she said -- and Behrend said he would donate the ball to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast-cancer research.

Tom Elliott, owner of Past Times Collectibles in Fullerton, doesn't believe the value of the ball will be affected by Hernandez's writing.

"Like anything that is recovered in a crowd, you want some authentication," Elliott said. "As long as the name is not scribbled across the entire ball, and it can be hidden while being displayed, I wouldn't worry. I think the guy did the right thing."

Behrend said Hernandez's writing on the ball was "minimal." The question is, how much is it worth?

"It didn't win a game, but it was hit into the stratosphere by the greatest hitter of our era," Elliott said. "It definitely has value. I would say someone would pay between $8,000 and $10,000."

If the ball were signed by Bonds, Elliott said, it's value would jump to the $15,000 range. If there were verification that Bonds' shot was the longest home run in World Series history, Elliott believes, it could fetch something in the $50,000 range.

Records for such feats are sketchy, though. Old Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis was the first to estimate home run distances in the early 1960s, and Major League Baseball retained IBM in the late 1980s to develop a program to compute home run distances, based on seating charts.

Said Rich Levin, spokesman for the commissioner's office, "There's a chance it could be the longest homer in World Series history. I don't know if there's any way to prove it."

Rachael Vizcarra, who has been Bonds' publicist for 11 years, said Bonds would gladly sign the ball as long as it was donated to charity.

"He wouldn't give it a second thought," she said.




*--* TV: Ch. 11 Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1 (*if necessary) GAME 1 SAN FRANCISCO 4, ANGELS 3 Three home runs by the Giants outdo two solo shots by the Angels' Troy Glaus

GAME 2 ANGELS 11, GIANTS 10 Tim Salmon's four hits, two home runs make Francisco Rodriguez a winner in postseason again

GAME 3 TONIGHT AT SAN FRANCISCO, 5:30 Angels' Ramon Ortiz (15-9, 3.77 ERA) vs. Giants' Livan Hernandez (12-16, 4.38 ERA) GAME 4 WEDNESDAY AT SAN FRANCISCO, 5:30 Angels' John Lackey (9-4, 3.66 ERA) vs. Giants' Kirk Rueter (14-8, 3.23 ERA) GAME 5 THURSDAY AT SAN FRANCISCO, 5:30 Angels' Jarrod Washburn (18-6, 3.15 ERA) vs. Giants' Jason Schmidt (13-8, 3.45 ERA) GAME 6 SATURDAY AT ANGELS, 5 P.M.* Starters not announced

GAME 7 SUNDAY AT ANGELS, 5 P.M.* Starters not announced


Los Angeles Times Articles