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Fan not tipping hand about No. 70
Posted: Monday September 28, 1998 08:02 AM
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Phil Ozersky has a big piece of baseball history. Now he has to decide if he'll trade it for the biggest piece of the million-dollar market that surrounded Mark McGwire's obliteration of the home run record.
Ozersky, a 26-year-old from Olivette, Missouri, caught McGwire's 70th home run Sunday and said he's not sure what he'll do with it the ball.
"I don't know, because I didn't expect to get this ball," Ozersky said. "Right now I'm excited to see Mr. McGwire and shake his hand, and that's about as far as I'm looking ahead."
Baseball memorabilia collectors have said they would pay up to $1 million for the final home run ball in McGwire's record run.
Ozersky was in a party room at Busch Stadium with a group of Washington University research lab scientists and knew he was lucky to have the ball after diving to come up with the prize. He had a black eye, but didn't say whether it came from a struggle for the homer, hit in the seventh inning off Carl Pavano.
"It was a line drive, a laser beam," Ozersky said. "I got it, and I'm excited."
Kerry Woodson, a 22-year-old body shop worker from Maryland Heights, Missouri, caught No. 69, a third-inning shot off Montreal rookie Mike Thurman. He was hoping against hope that it would be the last one, and hence the most valuable ball.
"I reached up, closed my eyes, and it landed in my glove," Woodson said. "It's a dream come true."
When McGwire hit No. 68 into the bleachers on Saturday, there was such a struggle for the ball that one fan broke his leg. By comparison, Woodson said everyone was nice to him after he caught No. 69.
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