The Barry Bonds home run premium

Update 2: Bonds hit 756 on Aug. 7 off the Washington Nationals’ Mike Bacsik to right-center field. The ball was caught by a 22 year old from Queens, New York named Matt Murphy. He just walked up and bought a ticket tonight. I suspect that the prices for tomorrow’s game will be plummeting rapidly.

How much would you pay for a chance to catch the ball that breaks Hank Aaron’s career home run record?

I’m going to be in San Francisco next week and thought I’d find out. Sections 145-149 in right field offer some of the best chances to get a Bonds home run ball. Those seats are sold out, but the Giants offer a DoublePlay window on their Web site, where ticket holders can resell their tickets online. Tickets in those sections range from $88-$335 each for next Wednesday’s game. (The face value is $29.) Tickets in other parts of the stadium for the same game are selling for about face value.

Sellers pitch the likelihood for each set of tickets offered: Great Seats in the Arcade! Barry Bonds home run #750 landed 6 seats to the left.” “Great seats in HR territory right in front of the Cove.” Row 2! Catch Bonds 755 or 756!”

If you were to catch the ball and were willing to part with it, you could be in for a big payday. The home run ball which broke Babe Ruth’s record and put Bonds at #2 went for $220,100 at auction.

That’s of course assuming that Bonds doesn’t hit 755 or 756 before then. And you don’t get trampled by the mob going for the ball.

I fall somewhere between my friends who hope that Bonds has a permanently debilitating injury in the next few days and those who are eagerly rooting for him to break the record. I’ll probably be at the game next Wednesday, but sitting elsewhere.

Update: According to AccuScore simulations, there’s about a 5.5% chance that Bonds will break the record during the Aug. 8 game. That increases to 7.5% in Thursday’s game.

Pac Bell Park


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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