WHAT FLOATS HIS BOAT?
Hanging out in an inflatable kayak in McCovey Cove, the part of the bay beyond the rightfield stands at SBC Park. The software salesman, 53, paddles out about 10 times a year in hopes of catching home run balls. On April 12, despite competition from a scrum of boaters, he fished out Barry Bonds's 660th home run, which tied Bonds with Willie Mays for third on the alltime list. Ellison, as usual, was wearing an Arnold Schwarzenegger body suit—just because.
DID HE SAY, "I'LL BE BACK"?
Ellison had planned to go to the next night's game the traditional way—with a ticket. But he had a premonition about 661, so he pumped up his kayak in the parking lot and paddled out. Sure enough Bonds homered, and Ellison was nearby. He reached for the ball with his paddle and fell out of his canoe. "The ball bobbed under and bobbed up, under and up," he says. "In the frenzy, I was sure I'd lose it." But he didn't.
SO HAS HIS SHIP COME IN?
Perhaps. Ellison gave No. 660 to Bonds and received two jerseys autographed by Bonds and Mays and a game-worn Bonds jersey. "I told [his son] Jeremy, 'This ball doesn't belong to us, it belongs to Barry and Willie,' " Ellison says. "I told him, 'The world is gonna judge us by what we do with this ball.' " He has no plans to sell number 661—yet. "Six-sixty was for Barry's family," he says. "This one's for mine."