Value of Mark McGwire’s 70th HR ball, once worth $3M, has nosedived
The 70th home run ball Mark McGwire hit to break the then-MLB single-season record during the 1998 season has plummeted in value to a stunning degree over the past two-plus decades.
McGwire slugged two homers on Sept. 27, 1998 to reach 70 on the season. Legendary comic book creator Todd McFarlane famously bought the 70th home run ball in January of 1999 for a whopping $3 million at auction when taxes and fees were added to the record-breaking $2.7 million purchase price for a piece of sports memorabilia.
It’s safe to say that McFarlane will never receive a comparable return on his original investment should he decide to ever sell the McGwire home run ball.
TMZ Sports recently reached out to two prominent experts from the sports memorabilia auction world, and both provided estimates of the ball’s current value. Suffice to say, its market worth has nosedived.
Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions now estimates the ball’s current value at $250k to $300k.
David Kohler, who runs SCP Auctions, is a little more optimistic … “$250,000 to $400,000, tops.”
McFarlane’s interest in baseball memorabilia did not stop with the purchase of McGwire’s 70th home run ball, either, and he’s taken a severe beating monetarily speaking when it comes to the plummeting value of those items.
Todd McFarlane paid an inflation adjusted total of $5.8 million for Mark McGwire’s Nos. 67, 68, 69 & 70th home run balls, Sammy Sosa’s Nos. 61 & 66 and Barry Bonds’ No. 73.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 15, 2020
Today, he would be hard pressed to get $1 million total for those seven balls. #LongGoneSummer pic.twitter.com/HUVHxTUAwn
The decreased values of McFarlane’s baseball treasures are of course most impacted by how McGwire, Sammy Sosa and later, Barry Bonds, were left disgraced due to being characterized as the prominent faces of MLB’s “Steroid Era.”
For what it’s worth, McFarlane has frequently downplayed how his memorabilia investments have failed to hold their value.
There has been word, however, that the ESPN “30 for 30” documentary “Long Gone Summer,” which chronicles the Sosa-McGwire home run battle in 1998, may result in an uptick in interest in related memorabilia items, although likely not as much as “The Last Dance” has increased the value of Michael Jordan-related items.