Home run ball expected to draw less than first sale

Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball is once again up for sale, but will likely sell for significantly less in auction this time around.

Bidding on the ball is to begin Thursday in an auction of high-ticket sports memorabilia by Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

An unidentified bidder first purchased the ball for more than $804,000 through Overstock.com after it was caught by a fan at SBC Park last Sept. 17.

However, the consignors of the upcoming auction have conservatively estimated the ball will sell for between $100,000 and $200,000, ESPN.com's Darren Rovell reports.

"Three players have hit more than 700 home runs," said David Kohler, president of SportsCards Plus. "I don't know where Hank Aaron's ball is and I've never heard of a person who has Babe Ruth's 700th home run, so this is obviously a really unique piece."

The ball will be on display at Sotheby's in New York from June 5-9.

According to the Chronicle, allegations of Bonds' steroid use, his recent curtness with the media and his season-long absence due to a knee injury might be behind an anticipated decrease of the price of the ball.

If Bonds were to return to the lineup and resume his pursuit of the home run marks held by Ruth and Aaron, the price of the ball might rise.

The Sotheby's and SportsCard Plus auction, which is to close June 10, will also open bidding for several other historic artifacts, including the 1919 contract that sold Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees.

Other items in the auction collection include: the first baseball thrown out at the grand opening of Boston's Fenway Park in 1912; a 1920 Ruth-signed, game-used bat; a collection of nine Los Angeles Lakers championship rings; a 1986 Boston Red Sox AL championship ring that belonged to Bill Buckner; and rookie cards of Ruth and Mickey Mantle.