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