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Griffey's No. 600 ball to hit auction block

Griffey's historic ball to hit auction

TORONTO -- The ball that Ken Griffey Jr. hit for career home run No. 600 is going up for auction.

Joe Scherer, the Marlins fan who was identified as the one who caught the milestone baseball in the right field seats at Dolphin Stadium on June 9, made the announcement on Thursday. The Associated Press reported that the ball will be auctioned Aug. 1 in Chicago.

"I'm just doing what's best for me right now," said Scherer, who had kept his identity hidden for several days since Griffey hit his homer in Miami.

Reds officials met with Scherer moments after Griffey became the sixth player in Major League history to hit 600 home runs. Club efforts to negotiate for the ball were immediately rebuffed since Scherer told the Reds he was selling the ball and not returning it to Griffey.

Doug Allen, president of Mastro Auctions in suburban Chicago, told the AP he believed the ball would sell for at least $50,000, and wouldn't be surprised to see the bidding reach $100,000.

Scherer's path to auction could be blocked by a lawsuit from Justin Kimball, a fan who claimed he caught the ball first before it was ripped from his hands. Kimball filed suit to block the ball's sale in Miami-Dade County court.

The Griffey ball will be part of a live auction in Chicago that also includes items from early 20th-century stars Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Honus Wagner. Vintage memorabilia from such players is still appreciating in value, Allen said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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