Cody Ross’ recent comments about Ken Griffey Jr.’s 600th home run ball really irked me. A Marlins season ticket holder, Joe, caught the ball and hasn’t decided what to do yet. Here’s what Ross said:
Just give it to the Hall of Fame, get to meet him, get an autograph, whatever. But people get greedy. They want to make some money. I guess the whole Internet thing kicked all of this stuff off. It didn’t use to be like this, but it’s a different era. People get money hungry now.
This is coming from Cody Ross, a man who will have made over a million dollars for three years of baseball. A guy whose ’09 salary alone should be close to a million bucks. It’s ridiculous for Ross to flippantly suggest Joe would be greedy to make money off the ball.
The ball might be worth anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000. For many people, that’s a life-changing amount of money. A down payment on a new house, maybe. Joe is right to take his time with this choice, and he’s under no moral obligation to give up the ball for some signed Reds bats and jerseys. He doesn’t owe it to baseball to give it up. If anything, baseball owes him. He’s a Marlins season ticket holder.
Actually, that’s the perfect solution. MLB, the Reds, or Griffey himself should offer a paltry $50,000 to Joe for the ball. It’s not going to set MLB back if they offer up fifty grand for every future milestone home run ball. They could probably find corporate sponsorship for it.