Another home-run ball creates stir
MIAMI ó Justin Kimball says he never wanted 15 minutes of this kind of fame.
The 25-year-old aspiring musician bought a ticket ó Section 130, Row 8, Seat 23 ó for the Florida Marlinsí game with the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, hoping for that once-in-a-lifetime brush with history. He was in the right-field seats, envisioning that Ken Griffey Jr., one of his boyhood idols, would hit career home run No. 600 into his waiting hands.
Kimball says the miracle happened.
His attorneys have nine witnesses saying the same.
But the Marlins say his recollection isnít true, and video replays donít conclusively support the claim, either.
So here we go again: The rights to yet another historic baseball ó like the one Barry Bonds hit for his 73rd home run in 2001 and Bondsí 762nd career homer last year ó will likely be decided in a courtroom.
Itís a bizarre tale of a singer and his wool hat, a man in a Sergio Mitre replica jersey who only goes by iJoe,î grainy replays that seem to prove nothing, along with claims of foul, thievery and dishonesty.
iItís all really weird,î Kimball said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. iIt makes me sick to my stomach.î
Kimball has filed suit in Miami-Dade County court, alleging, among other things, that iJoeî ó identified as iJohn Doe, an individual a/k/a Joe and any party in control or possession of (the) Ken Griffey Jr. 600th home run baseballî ó committed civil theft and civil battery against him.
Oh, and as if this all wasnít enough drama, the story got more odd Thursday: Kimballís side also says people ó they werenít identified ó at the stadium informed their office that the infamous iJoeî struck again Wednesday night, and wrestled Dan Ugglaís game-ending grand slam away from a woman whose hands were on that ball, too.
iThis guy is apparently a magnet,î said Robert Zarco, one of the attorneys representing Kimball for free.
Marlins president David Samson said iJoe,î who Samson said has authorized him to speak on his behalf, did not catch the Uggla ball.
But whether iJoeî caught it or not, Uggla left the stadium with his grand slam ball Wednesday.
Griffey ó who wants his 600th ó wasnít so lucky Monday, and Kimball wishes that wasnít the case.
iMy client really wants to get Ken Griffey Jr. the baseball, his baseball, for free,î Zarco said. iThis isnít about money.î
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