SI Vault
 
What Would No. 62 Be Worth to You?
Rick Reilly
September 07, 1998
Your mouth is bloody. A couple of your fingers are bent in three directions. Your watch is gone. But you came out with it.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 07, 1998

What Would No. 62 Be Worth To You?

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Your mouth is bloody. A couple of your fingers are bent in three directions. Your watch is gone. But you came out with it.

Mark McGwire's 62nd.

Now people are pulling on you as if you're saltwater taffy. The security goons want you to come with them—right now. Some guy in an Italian double-breasted is offering you $500,000 for it, cash, right now. Three TV hairsprays are trying to interview you, your wife may or may not have fainted, and two unshavens have just bum-rushed you, trying to swipe the ball.

Panicked, you throw an elbow, spin 180 degrees and jailbreak it up the aisle, out the exit and into the parking lot, where you lock yourself in somebody's Winnebago. You need a second to think. The Winnebago owner is threatening you with a grilled kielbasa, and a very angry parade is right behind him. You're staring blankly at the dashboard, onto which the owner has Super Glued two five-inch action figures. One is Ty Cobb. The other is Babe Ruth.

Suddenly they start to glow. And move. And speak!

"You gotta give the ball to McGwire, kid," says the little Ruth. "It's the right tiling to do."

You clean out your ears, rub your eyes and shake your head. That was a nasty bump you took.

"Don't be a sucker!" pipes the little Cobb, hopping up and down. " McGwire's not gonna give you any money for it! He said, and I quote, 'If somebody's going to hold this ball hostage for a dollar sign, you can take it home with you.' Easy for him to say, huh? Makin' almost $10 million a year. I mean, if some fool paid $500,000 for Eddie Murray's 500th, you'll get millions for this baby!"

"This ain't about money!" roars Ruth, poking Cobb in his tiny chest. "It's about morals! If McGwire hadn't hit it, that ball's just a chunk of cowhide. He oughta have it. He'd give you all the signed junk you want. Plus, you'd be his pal for life."

"Listen!" yells Cobb, pointing at you. "Whaddya pull down a year, $25,000 tops? You got a car that still runs on leaded. Your wife ain't had a new dress since the Nixon Administration. Your kids' teeth look like Stonehenge. You can't afford somebody else's morals!"

Continue Story
1 2 3