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Money Ball

Jan. 17, 2005
Jan. 17, 2005

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Jan. 17, 2005

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Money Ball

The Red Sox and their first baseman squabble over a World Series keepsake

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.)

This is an article from the Jan. 17, 2005 issue Original Layout

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.