Ecko an 'idiot' for buying ball, Bonds says
EmptySAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds said the man who bought his 756th home run ball and announced plans to let the public decide its fate is an "idiot."
Fashion designer Marc Ecko had the winning bid Saturday in the online auction for the ball that Bonds hit last month to break Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs. The final selling price was $752,467, well above most predictions.
Ecko, 35, has set up a Web site that lets visitors vote on three options for the ball: give it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, brand it with an asterisk before sending it to Cooperstown or blast it into space on a rocket ship.
The asterisk would suggest that Bonds' record is tainted by alleged steroid use. The Giants slugger has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.
"All of those options don't weigh anything," Bonds told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday night in Phoenix. "In baseball, that number (756) stands."
Bonds said Ecko could have found a better way to spend three-quarters of a million dollars.
"He's stupid. He's an idiot," Bonds said. "He spent $750,000 on the ball and that's what he's doing with it? What he's doing is stupid."
Ecko did not directly respond to Bonds' comments Wednesday, but said in a statement he would make Bonds a custom T-shirt that says, "Marc Ecko paid $752,467 for my ball, and all I got was this 'stupid' T-shirt."'
Ecko plans to announce what he will do with No. 756 after voting ends Sept. 25.
Ben Padnos, the California entrepreneur who submitted the $186,750 winning bid on Bonds' record-tying 755th home run ball, said Tuesday he also plans to the public vote on what to do with it.