Money Ball

The Red Sox and their first baseman squabble over a World Series keepsake
January 17, 2005

While the World Series trophy makes its way through Massachusetts (Red Sox president Larry Lucchino vowed it would visit all of the state's 351 towns), a key souvenir from the Fall Classic remains out of sight. The ball that Keith Foulke tossed to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out is sitting in the first baseman's safe-deposit box, and last week Mientkiewicz, to the chagrin of the team, said his "retirement fund" was staying there. (Howard Soll, of Regency-Superior auction house, says the ball could fetch nearly $1 million at auction.)

So who has the right to it, Mientkiewicz or the Sox? Paul Finkelman, a professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law and a consultant in the lawsuit over ownership of Barry Bonds's 73rd home run ball, says neither. Since Major League Baseball provided the ball, it's theirs. So while Mientkiewicz doesn't have a legal leg to stand on--"The ball ain't his," says Finkelman--neither do the Red Sox. Nonetheless, after meeting with Boston owner John Henry, Mientkiewicz seemed amenable to compromise. "Of course I want Red Sox fans to see the ball," he told a Boston radio station. "The main reason why I hung on to the darn thing is because I want people to see it."

COLOR PHOTOAL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (MIENTKIEWICZ) I GOT IT! Mientkiewicz nabbed a precious piece of memorabilia.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)