Thursday, April 15, 2004

One Man in the Water: Two Souvenirs

This is amazing:

Larry Ellison paddled out to McCovey Cove, not bothering to wear his Arnold Schwarzenegger disguise for his second straight catch of a milestone home run by Barry Bonds.

Ellison, a 53-year-old sales director for a computer company, retrieved both of the balls hit by Bonds this week. The first was on Monday when the slugger tied godfather Willie Mays for third on the career list; the next came 29112 hours later when Bonds passed Mays with another sensational shot into the water.

Ellison usually dresses in a Schwarzenegger mask and T-shirt of the California governor and former movie star. But on Tuesday, Ellison jumped from his blue kayak into San Francisco Bay with the mask, which could be seen splashing in the murky waters along with his cooler, according to an Associated Press story.

Ellison returned No. 660 to Bonds after Monday's game, but wasn't about to hand back No. 661. Bonds wanted him to have it anyway.

"We're Giants fans, and I thought this would be important for Barry and Willie to have that ball,"

Ellison said. "It's important to them. I wasn't interested in selling it to the highest bidder."

Anyone trying to reach Ellison yesterday was having a hard time.

"My cell phone is dead since it got wet in McCovey Cove last night and got soaked with salt water," his phone message said.

There was no mention of Bonds giving the man a signed BALCO affidavit in return for the first ball.

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