Collectibles firm makes cash offer for Bonds HR balls

Updated: May 16, 2006, 1:23 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Barry Bonds has been stuck on home run No. 713 for seven straight games, but one sports memorabilia company is banking on the San Francisco Giants' slugger moving into second place on the all-time list over the next two games at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

Swinging for the Fences:
Recent Home Run Ball Prices
Player Home run No. Amount
McGwire 70 $3 million
Aaron 755 $600K-$700K
Bonds 73 $517,500
Sosa 66 $175,000
Bonds 70 $60,375
McGwire 63,64,67,68 $57,500 each
Bonds 600 $46,304
Sosa 500 $37,000
McGwire 583 (final career) $25,000

Tri-Star Productions, a Houston-based collectibles firm, is offering $25,000 for Bonds' home run No. 714 and $50,000 for No. 715, which would push Bonds ahead of Babe Ruth for career homers.

The company is hosting a sports memorabilia show this weekend in Houston and once Tri-Star officials can authenticate the ball, company president Jeff Rosenberg promises to give the lucky fan cash for the Bonds ball.

"I think people are interested in seeing history being made and they're excited that they can see something like this happen in their lifetime," Rosenberg said.

The deal, which is only good if Bonds hits his home runs in Houston, seems to be for market value.

Michael Barnes, the broker who assisted the families of those who caught key Sosa, McGwire and Bonds home run balls, told ESPN.com recently that Bonds' No. 715 baseball is likely worth in between $25,000 and $50,000.

"The value proposition for us is less because of the accusations surrounding him," Rosenberg said. "We'd likely be offering much more if there was a clean slate."

Rosenberg said that if he were to obtain the balls, his company would randomly insert them into its "Hidden Treasures" product. One autographed ball, which is wrapped to conceal the specific player's signature, retails for $59.99. In August 2004, a collector pulled a Babe Ruth autographed ball from one of the company's packs.

Nolan Ryan, Bo Jackson, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Emmitt Smith, among others, headline Tri-Star's show this weekend.

Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at Darren.rovell@espn3.com.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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