Hall of Fame rejects Bonds HR ball from Sportsbook.com

NEW YORK -- Here's a sure bet: Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball won't go on display at the Hall of Fame anytime soon.

The Cooperstown shrine this week rejected a proposed donation of the ball from an online gambling operation. Sportsbook.com purchased the ball from Bonds' famous blast for $102,000 at a June auction.

According to the company, the ball was offered with no strings attached to the Hall's executive board. But Hall of Fame spokesman Jeff Idelson said Friday rejecting the deal was an obvious decision.

"The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will never accept artifacts from any company known to be involved with gambling," Idelson said. "We have a responsibility to preserve the game's history.

"We would not intentionally compromise its integrity when there are other ways to tell the history of this milestone."

Bonds, with his Sept. 17, 2004, homer, joined home run king Henry Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) as the only players in major league history to break the 700 mark.

The San Francisco Giants star already has donated several items to the hall, including the spikes from his 400th steal, the bat from his 526th homer and the ball from his 532nd home run.

Idelson can recall no prior instance when the Hall of Fame turned down an artifact because of a link to sports betting.

Baseball has studiously avoided the taint of gambling since the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Pete Rose's betting career has kept the sport's all-time hits leader from getting a plaque at the Hall of Fame. Two other baseball greats, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, were suspended from the game after they took jobs as greeters for two Atlantic City casinos.

"The cardinal rule in baseball is you don't gamble," Idelson said. "It's been posted in every clubhouse since 1927."

Sportsbook.com, a London-based online gambling company, said it planned to hold the ball in hopes that changing times and attitudes might clear the way for its inclusion in the Hall. "We are very disappointed that the Hall of Fame has turned down our offer, though we are not completely surprised," said Alex Czajkowski, marketing director for Sportsbook.com. "We understand and respect the Hall of Fame's position."

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Hey Clipster, how are ya....

Don't you think they are overreacting a bit...........:confused
I guess MLB doesn't realize that the only reason 80% of their viewers are only watching because they have action on a game.