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Morning briefing

Hall gets branded new ball

July 02, 2008|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Asterisk and all, Barry Bonds' 756th home run ball has finally landed in the baseball Hall of Fame.

Fashion designer Marc Ecko, who purchased the ball for $752,467 in September, donated the ball Tuesday after months of back and forth about whether the ball would permanently belong to the Hall.

"We are very happy to receive the baseball as a donation, and not as a loan," Hall spokesman Brad Horn said. "We look forward to adding this ball to our permanent collections."

When Ecko bought the ball, he held an Internet vote for fans to decide what he should do with the ball. The winner: Mark it with an asterisk to denote the steroid allegations surrounding Bonds and give it the Hall of Fame.

It has indeed been branded with a five-pronged asterisk. Bonds, who set the career home run record with that ball, has said he would boycott the Hall of Fame if it displayed a marked ball.

Trivia time

What Washington Nationals pitcher gave up Bonds' 756th home run?

Song and dance

Bon Jovi is headed to the All-Star game.

The rock 'n' roll act announced that it would play a free concert July 12 in Central Park as part of the festivities leading into the July 15 game at Yankee Stadium.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he hoped the concert would go off "In a Blaze of Glory."

Stealing more than bases

Derek Jeter said he is saddened that this is Yankee Stadium's final season and acknowledged that he planned on taking some souvenirs from the old ballpark at the end of the season.

"You can write it however you want it. I'm going to steal something," he said, not mincing his words.

But he won't say what because he doesn't want the Yankees to know.

"When it's gone, they're going to come after me," he said.

Forget the cup, pass a fork

Detroit Red Wings right wing Dan Cleary is the first player from Newfoundland to win the Stanley Cup, so naturally he spent his day with the Cup by toting it around his homeland.

Fans treated him like a king during his two-day trip to the Canadian province, especially at a children's hospital where kids were in awe at the opportunity to meet their local hero and touch hockey's crown jewel.

Most of the kids, that is.

"I came for the cake," quipped 7-year-old Rebecca Cole.

No trophy or wife

Russian soccer players missed out on more than a trophy when they lost to Spain in the semifinals of Euro 2008: They also missed the chance for some extracurricular activities, according to the London tabloid the Sun.

Wealthy socialite Pyotr Listerman offered "two beautiful chicks" for any Russian player who scored a goal against Spain.

"There are a number of bachelors in our team," star player Andrei Arshavin said. "This is a great incentive."

Apparently not that great. Nobody scored, literally or figuratively, as Russia lost, 3-0.

Trivia answer

Mike Bacsik.

And finally

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly had five strikeouts Monday night against the San Francisco Giants -- both on the mound and in the batter's box.

He pitched eight innings of the Cubs' 9-2 victory for one of his best pitching performances of the season, but after the game he was talking about going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts at the plate.

"I felt like I tried every different swing and every different stance," he said. "I don't think that I put much fear in any of those pitchers. I guess once the scouting report gets out, I'm done now."

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peter.yoon@latimes.com

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