September 26, 2007
Bonds Baseball to Be Branded With Asterisk
By KEN DALEY
DALLAS, Tex. -- Fashion designer Marc Ecko announced Wednesday that the baseball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run will be branded with an asterisk before being donated to baseball's Hall of Fame.
Speaking on NBC's "Today" show, Ecko said donating an altered ball to the game's Cooperstown shrine reflected the overwhelming desire of fans voting on a Web site established after he purchased the ball for $752,467 at an online auction on Sept. 15.
Ecko said more than 10 million votes were cast on his vote756.com site, with 47 percent favoring branding the ball and another 34 percent preferring to see it donated to the Hall untouched. The remaining 19 percent chose the third listed option: "Launch it into space forever."
We're at a crossroads in sports history. Either we are going to accept enhancement of sports people by what we have to come to call 'doping,' or we may as well close down all the records.
Sports are one half human effort and the other half bookkeeping. Now the keeping of the books is skewed by the all too human flaws of our heroes. Barry Bonds hit the ball and if steroids helped him, it was still a hell of an effort that no one else is even close to, with or without the help of steroids. A Baseball Hall of Fame without Pete Rose in it, because of an altogether foggy notion of what is and what is not moral, is a travesty.
God knows what Babe Ruth was on, but no one had the nerve or the stupidity to make him piss in a jar. Baseball just celebrated his genius.
Here's a thought. If Pete Rose agrees to being branded with an asterisk, we'll let him in the Hall.