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    The 600 Home Run Club membership grows to six!

    2008 Ken Griffey, Jr. 600th Career Home Run Baseball. When Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jerry Hairston, Jr. felt a bone snap in his hand when he stole second base in the first inning of a June 9, 2008 visit to the Florida Marlins' Pro Player Stadium, he resisted the urge to call for a pinch runner. He had a feeling that he was standing on the brink of history, and wouldn't miss it for anything.

    "To be honest with you, I was a little selfish because I said, 'Maybe Junior hits his 600th,'" Hairston explained. "He told me he was going to hit his 600th today, and I said, 'This guy is crazy enough to do it. He's hit a lot of them, so maybe he was right.'" And if Junior was going to do it, Hairston was intent upon being an RBI in the footnote of the tale.

    Marlins southpaw Mark Hendrickson found himself in a three-and-one hole when he tried to sneak a fast ball past Griffey's left-handed swing, but the result was predictable, and when the ball settled into the sparsely populated outfield seats 413 feet away, Griffey had joined Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Sosa in slugging's most elite brotherhood.

    Thankfully, Major League Baseball has instituted a solid protocol for authentication when a player approaches a milestone that might cause chaos in the cheap seats, and they had personnel on hand to wade through the scrum as this expensive souvenir landed. At the other end of Griffey's historic-making blast, in Section 130, row fourteen, the MLB staffers found Joe Scherer, this ball nestled in the fielder's glove he presciently toted to the ballpark for the occasion.

    Mr. Scherer's detailed handwritten letter of provenance is verified by a pair of markings from Major League Baseball. The first, stamped coding reading "G 36," straddles the MLB logo stamping of the OML (Selig) sphere, clearly applied within moments of the home run in order to identify it for later holographic stickering, which constitutes the second MLB marking. The unique serial code, LH011785, can be researched with Major League Baseball's online verification database, the text revealing, "Ball hit by Ken Griffey, Jr. #3 to attain his 600th career HR. Ball hit to right field. Pitcher Mark Hendrickson #30."

    It's one of the game's greatest tragedies that pharmaceutical scandal has banished many of Griffey's hard-slugging contemporaries to baseball purgatory, but Junior has properly been spared such a fate. He's always been far more Willie Mays than Barry Bonds, and it could be argued that his star shines even brighter through the relative darkness of that unfortunate age. Many would count Ken Griffey, Jr. among the five or ten most gifted players in the sport's history, and this relic is arguably the most signficant ever to emerge from his Hall of Fame career. MLB Authentic LH011785. Letter of provenance from fan who caught the ball.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    6th-8th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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