Mark McGwire says that his 70th home run ball from 1998 belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Mark McGwire’s admitted steroid use seems likely to keep him from ever being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but the one-time MLB home run king still believes his achievement should be commemorated in Cooperstown.
McGwire was recently asked by TMZ about the ball from his record-breaking 70th home run in 1998, which has depreciated in value.
“It dropped when Barry [Bonds] broke the record. … The bottom line it should have been put in the Hall of Fame,” McGwire said.
The ball, which was purchased by comic book creator and memorabilia collector Todd McFarlane for $2.7 million in 1999, has dropped in value over time as McGwire’s record fell and the entire era has been overshadowed by the cloud of PEDs. TMZ Sports estimates the current value of the ball to be around $300,000-400,000.
Unfortunately for McGwire, it doesn’t sound like McFarlane plans on giving up the ball anytime soon. In another interview with TMZ, McFarlane said that he didn’t regret the purchase despite the decreased value, because of all the business and attention he had gotten out of it for the past 22 years.
“It would have to be a stupid number that I don’t think anybody could give,” McFarlane said when asked what price it would take for him to give up the ball.
McGwire told TMZ he would be willing to autograph the ball if given the chance – “Heck yeah, why not?” – but has no interest in owning it himself.
“No, I’d give it to the Hall of Fame if they’d take it,” he said.
McGwire finished his career with 583 home runs but was not elected to the Hall of Fame in any of his 10 years on the ballot from 2007-2016, only ever getting as high as 23.7 percent of the vote and finishing with 12.3 in his final year of eligibility. He has been considered as a finalist on the Today’s Game Era ballot but not yet enshrined.