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Bonds' No. 756 ball generates more than initial estimates

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' record-breaking 756th home run
ball was auctioned Saturday for $752,467, well more than the
estimates by memorabilia experts.

Home run No. 755, the ball that tied the record, went for
$186,750, according to Sotheby's/SCP Auctions. Both final prices
included the winning bid plus a 20 percent buyer's fee, according
to the auction houses handling the sale.

Bonds broke Aaron's record of 755 with a shot into the
right-center field seats on Aug. 7 off of Washington Nationals
pitcher Mike Bacsik in San Francisco.

Matt Murphy, a 21-year-old student and construction supervisor
from New York, emerged from a scuffle with the record-breaking ball
after paying $100 for a $12 ticket during a layover on his way to
Australia from his hometown.

"I had hoped to keep the ball, but when I determined that was
not the best strategy at this stage of my life, this definitely was
the right decision," Murphy said in a statement released after the
sale. "It is an honor to be a part of baseball history and I wish
the new owner well with whatever they elect to do with the ball."

Experts had predicted the ball that tied Hank Aaron's home run
record would fetch about $200,000, and that the record-breaker
would be sold for least $500,000.

"I feel like I did the right thing with it," said Adam Hughes,
34, a plumber from La Jolla who came up with No. 755 in the
left-center field seats in San Diego on Aug. 4.

Hughes said that after taxes and auction house fees, he expects
to take home about $90,000 from the sale. He said he would probably
invest some of the money and use some of it to help out a cousin
who just started college. He might also go on a cruise, he said.

Both buyers did not want to be identified, said a spokesman for
SCP Auctions.

While the price for No. 756 exceeded expectations, the ball did
not come close to the $3 million that was paid for St. Louis
Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire's single-season home run record ball
in 1998.

Most memorabilia experts believe Bonds' last career home run,
which will set the new record, will garner more than $1 million.