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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/31/2021

On the night of April 17, 2001, Joe Figone was among the dozen or so fans floating in McCovey Cove hoping to catch baseball history. Barry Bonds was sitting on career home run 499 and looking to become just the 17th player in history to reach the 500 mark and would also become the only player ever with 500 stolen bases to boot. That night at Pac Bell Park, the Giants were facing the LA Dodgers. Bonds had gone 0 for 3 throughout the game, but he had one more at bat in the bottom of the 8th. With a man on third, Bonds worked the count to 2 balls, no strikes. Then he launched a Terry Adams pitch into the night sky.

The motley flotilla beyond the right field wall had stood by for eight long innings before the voice on the portable radios cried out “deep to right field – this one is on its way – to McCovey Cove…” Joe Figone, who had previously caught the first ball hit out of Pac Bell, also by Bonds, gunned his motor and nosed his boat towards where he believed the ball would splash down. With one hand on the wheel and the other wielding a large net, Figone searched the sky for the ball. Barely missing a man in a wet suit, Figone swooped in and made the play.

When Figone reached the shore he was immediately set upon by police and sticker-happy authenticators from MLB who certified everything within reach – Joe’s boat, the motor, the fishing net, portable radio, the religious medal he wore around his neck, life jacket, and most importantly, the ball. It was the ball that everyone, including Barry Bonds, was interested in getting ahold of. The Giants offered a handful of tickets and Bonds reportedly said it should be given to the Hall of Fame. But Joe Figone believed it was worth more than that and he held onto the treasured artifact – that is until now.

Twenty-one years after he caught Barry Bonds’ 500th home run, Joe Figone has decided to pass it on. The ball itself is a Rawlings Official Major League Bud Selig ball. It shows good game use with the expected surface wear and abrasions and overall toning. However, the whole story of the epic night Barry Bonds hit his 500th homer would not be complete without the fishing net and life jacket used by Joe Figone while catching history. The ball, fishing net and life jacket have been authenticated by the firm of Arthur Anderson which was responsible for all authentication during the 2000 time period, and as such, the number on the certification sticker does not come up in the new MLB Authentication database. There is, however, solid provenance on the ball and the individual Joseph Figone, including countless articles, stories and video evidence of Mr. Figone scooping the ball out of the cove. The winning bidder also takes home the historic fishing net and life jacket.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $303,277
Number Bids:11
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