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I want to know when they're going to affix the asterisk to the Yanks' 2003 AL Pennant? That'll be nice flying over the new Yankee Stadium. Maybe they can raise the asterisk on opening day '09. Or how about the asterisk on the '89 A's World Series trophy? Or the asterisk on Gaylord Perry's HOF plaque? And Whitey Ford's?

The asterisk factory needs to kick it into high gear.

Yes, the asterisk factory is going to have to hire a lot of graphic artists ASAP. Good call on the *A's* World Series trophy. Also, Canseco's* Rookie of the year award, and *40*/*40* season as well.

Or we could just single out Bonds for a change, that's always convenient for everyone else. I've said this before, and will say it again, the fans around here are so hypocritical. Albert Belle was a bigger jerk than Barry Bonds could ever dream of being (chasing kids in his SUV, throwing baseballs at fans), yet our crowd gave him a huge standing O on opening day his first year. It's so far beyond hypocritical it's not even worth discussing.

Roberto Alomar spit in an umpires face and spoke of the man's son who passed away. Every single fan in Baseball booed him terribly everytime he moved a muscle...Our fans gave him a standing O his first Playoff at bat in that Indians series in '96...So far beyond hypocritical it's still not even funny.

Ray Lewis lied to the police about a DOUBLE MURDER and our fans cheer his every move and wear his jersey around town like he's the biggest hero in the world. So hypocritical....etc..

But Barry Bonds took steroids like 75% of the league did, and he's the devil. Don't hate the man for simply being a better hitter than everyone else who cheated.

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I want to know when they're going to affix the asterisk to the Yanks' 2003 AL Pennant? That'll be nice flying over the new Yankee Stadium. Maybe they can raise the asterisk on opening day '09. Or how about the asterisk on the '89 A's World Series trophy? Or the asterisk on Gaylord Perry's HOF plaque? And Whitey Ford's?

The asterisk factory needs to kick it into high gear.

The 2002 Giants NL pennant will definitely get an asterisk, since Bonds almost single handedly took them that far on his acne-ridden back. ;)

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However, it is without question that it has some historical value. One of my specific questions in this thread is whether this decision to deface the ball alters it's historical value and poses the risk of unintended consequences.

I think it does and furthermore it requires the Hall of Fame to take a position it is inappropriate to make at the moment. To display it with an asterisk - even if it is hidden - tacitly endorses the point of view that the asterisk is deserved.

See, I agree with Why Not?'s post. The ball has historical value on its own. That's a given. But part of that historical value is tied up the public perception of Bond's record, and the delberate branding of the ball represents that, too.

So, as an artifact of basball history, yeah, the asterisk is pretty silly.

As an artifact of social history (as related to baseball) I think its perfectly valuable.

30 years from now, someone visiting the Hall will be explaining that asterisk to their kids, and the kids will say, "Why this ball?," "Why Barry Bonds and not...?" and all the other implied questions in this thread. So I think its still a valuable artifact for the Hall, even with the asterisk.

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Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey has stated the official HOF position on the Bonds 756 home run ball.

"We're grateful to Marc for donating this baseball, which represents one of the game's most historic records. Baseball belongs to the fans -- it always has and always will. The asterisk represents the voice of the fans at this moment in time. The level of interest reflects the strong bond between baseball and American culture. Our responsibility as a history museum is to present every story in proper context, and this ball allows us to do that."

At the risk of further alienating those who are understandaby fatigued at anything and everything having to do with Barry Bonds I offer one final thought anyway.

I had the privilge of working at the Smithsonian earlier in my life, so it is with interest that I read that Mr. Petroskey understands that the primary curatorial function of any museum historian is to present an object in its proper context. Unfortunately I fail to see how that will ever be possible given his decision to accept the Bonds baseball on Marc Ecko's terms.

I believe that Barry Bonds systematically used performance enhancing drugs and they had a material effect in him breaking the home run record.

My opinion doesn't matter, but the opinion of the Hall of Fame does.

Even though my mind is made up, baseball has a vested interest in providing Barry Bonds "due process". It has yet to be determined conclusively that Bonds did anything wrong. At least systematically. By accepting this baseball with an asterisk branded on it, the HOF forever forces Bonds' legacy to be considered in the light of the steroid allegations he's now dealing with, with no possibility of his accomplishments being viewed untainted however unlikely that may be.

If his drug use is demonstrated then all this is a moot point, but at the moment, that time is in the future. It is not Marc Ecko's place (or the public's) to decide what is ultimately a matter of fact and it is not Mr. Petroskey's place to facilitate him.

An earlier poster suggested that just about any baseball record could have an asterisk next to it as if no standards were necessary in determining quality or accuracy or historical relevance. Mr. Petroskey's sublimely mealy-mouthed paragraph referenced above is an eloquent example of that philosophy in practice.

Just gimme the damn ball seems to be the operating principle here.

http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070925&content_id=5122&vkey=hof_news

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But Barry Bonds took steroids like 75% of the league did, and he's the devil. Don't hate the man for simply being a better hitter than everyone else who cheated.

Bonds is an asshole who broke baseball's biggest record. Yeah, there were plenty of ballplayers who used steroids, but most were not assholes breaking baseball's biggest record.

Now you know why Bonds receives the brunt of the anger.

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