Up for Grabs | Chicago Reader

Up for Grabs

This funny and engrossing video by Michael Wranovics documents the court battle that erupted over the ownership of “number 73,” the baseball Barry Bonds hit in October 2001 to break the major league record for home runs in a single season. Alex Popov, a San Francisco restaurant owner, was recorded on tape catching the ball, but a melee broke out around him, and the million-dollar memento somehow wound up in the hands of college student Patrick Hayashi. It's a terrific story—part mystery, part farce, part legal nail-biter—with a last-minute reversal so bitterly ironic it could have been scripted by Billy Wilder. And while this story isn't really about baseball, the avarice that propels it speaks volumes about the money culture that surrounds the game. 88 min.


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