Why do I care?

October 4, 2007

bonds ball

I’ve never voted on American Idol.  I never call-in on talk radio.  I don’t feel the need for my voice to be heard.  Why then, did I take time to vote on what should be done with Barry Bonds’ 756 home run ball?  I’m not even that big of a baseball fan.

I have what I like to think of as a finely honed sense of fairness.  (My wife  tends to call it self-righteous indignation.)  Whatever.  Still, I was taken by Marc Ecko’s purchase of the home run ball for $752,467.  He put up a website asking people to vote on what he should do with the ball.  There were three options: 1) Send it to Cooperstown. 2) Brand it with an asterisk, and then send it to the Hall of Fame.  Or, 3) Launch it into space.  In the end, 47% of the people (including me) voted to brand the ball and send it on to Cooperstown.  (See all the results here.)

I love it.

Barry Bonds does not love it.  He thinks Ecko is “stupid” and “and idiot” for giving away the ball. I beg to differ with Mr. Bonds.  Ecko’s site drew more than 10,000,000 cathartic votes in just eight days.  He inserted himself (and his brand) in the midst of a pop culture phenomena — indeed, history — and brought some sense of closure to the mess.

I don’t know how you would have ROI’d this marketing move on the front end, but it sure looks pretty damn smart to me.

Why’d you do it, Barry?

August 8, 2007

bonds 756I just saw the news account that Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run to pass Hank Aaron as the all-time home run leader.

So my wish is now blown.  Here’s what I hoped: I wanted Bonds to hit his 754th home run and then retire  immediately.  It would have been a total class move in a career sorely lacking class moves.  He would have honored Hank Aaron by not surpassing his record home runs and we all would still have known he could hit plenty more.

Wouldn’t that have said a lot about the man?  Wouldn’t he have had the best of both worlds?  What would it have meant to his legacy?

We’ll never know.