Dealers say Bonds merchandise already hard to sell, indictment won't help Print
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Friday, 16 November 2007 14:10
MLB Headline News

 CHICAGO (AP) -Ralph DeSantis started taking a baseball signed by Barry Bonds to memorabilia shows a while back, hoping someone would meet his $150 asking price.
Two years later, no sale. DeSantis doesn't figure he'll do much better this weekend, either, now that baseball's home run champion has been indicted.
``I'm probably overstocked with one baseball,'' he said.
Bonds' legal trouble isn't likely to help the market for items with his autograph or picture, predicted dealers gathered in suburban Chicago for a big show.
``I think it will destroy it worse than it already (is),'' DeSantis said.
Wes George, another dealer, is in the same situation. Only worse.
It seems he bought a dozen Bonds autographed bats and two dozen autographed balls about four years ago. He still has 10 of the balls and seven of the bats.
Bonds merchandise, he said, ``is a very slow sell.''
George said the problem with Bonds merchandise is clear. ``He's the poster child, as it were, for the steroids era,'' George said.
Added DeSantis: ``People around the country just don't like him.''
Just how much they don't like him now is as obvious as the price tag on Barry Bonds 1986 Topps rookie cards.
Last November, such a card sold for $2,625, according to Elon Werner of Beckett Media, a sports collectible authority. At this weekend's show, dealers say they're hoping they can get a little over $100 for the same cards.
The other problem, George said, is that that Bonds mostly sells his merchandise only through his own company. And that company has always insisted on higher prices, he said.
Brian Marren works for an auction house that expects to get as much as $20,000 for a Bonds game uniform. He doesn't think the indictment has driven down prices. Yet.
``It's going to go down if he's convicted in a court of law because it's no longer a perceptual issue. It's a legal issue,'' he said.
Dealers do say, though, that the market for Bonds memorabilia will never completely dry up - even if the slugger is convicted.
That's because if collectors want to have memorabilia from everyone, say, who has hit 500 home runs, they are going to have to buy something of Bonds.
``They're always going to need them for their collection whether they like him or not,'' George said.
 

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