Purchases Barry Bonds' 73rd HR Ball for $450K
Friday, June 27, 2003

By now, everyone in the free world knows that Todd McFarlane is the proud new owner of the Barry Bonds' record-breaking 73rd homerun baseball, purchased at an auction carried live on ESPN on Wednesday, June 25. Here at, we have the inside scoop on how it all went down.

Read on ...

When Todd heard that he was scheduled to be in the air on his way to a WalMart corporate meeting in northwest Arkansas during the Bond's ball auction, he immediately changed his flight plans.

That change put him in Dallas on a four-hour layover. Arriving in hot, humid weather, Todd quickly hailed a cab and was on his way to a downtown ESPN satellite station to join in the bidding on the ball. Not one to waste downtime, Todd chatted via cell phone with several reporters interested in hearing his thoughts about the upcoming auction.

After arriving at the studio, preparations for the Leland's auction began. Todd was wired into the ESPN Zone and made contact with his proxy bidder, Mike Heffner, president of Leland's. His official bidder number was 5. Prior to the auction beginning, he appeared on ESPNews with Brian Kenney via a satellite feed and talked with a couple of national sports radio shows.

The auction was conducted by Leland's through online and live bidding at the ESPN Zone in New York and was being carried on SportsCenter at 6 p.m. EST. At 6:30 EST, the official bidding started at $200,000; within five minutes the winning paddle was raised, and another piece of baseball history was made with the #73 ball going to Todd for $450,000.

"We were glad to see Todd win the baseball and think it is going to a wonderful home," said Michael Heffner, president of auction house and the man who handled Todd's phone bidding in New York. "We know he'll do the right thing with it by sharing the ball with the public, which is most important."

When asked what his plans are for the ball, McFarlane said, "I hope to convince the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown that my baseball collection is worth displaying for baseball fans of all ages to see for years to come."