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McFarlane Collection to be on display in Phoenix

It's déjà vu all over again with an assault on the Major League home run record ... just like the summer of 1998 when Mark McGwire's 70 homers shattered Roger Maris' record. Sammy Sosa wasn't far behind. In 2001 it's Barry Bonds cracking dingers with Sosa on his heels.

    As of this writing, Bonds stands at 55, four ahead of McGwire's '98 pace, and Sosa is making another late-season surge, sitting at 49. With home runs on everyone's mind, people are asking the same questions they asked during the 1999 race when McGwire jacked 65 - "What's a $3 million baseball worth if someone hits 71 home runs this year?" and "Will you try to buy the new record ball?"

    "Nothing matters until Bonds or Sosa actually hit that magic home run," said Todd McFarlane, who owns McGwire's 70th home run baseball. "And I'll be rooting for both of them right up to when one hits 69. If Barry or Sammy hit more, well that's another story."

    On Monday, Aug. 27, Todd will be on Fox Sports Net's National Sports Report, as well as the Arizona Regional Sports Report, talking about the home run race of 2001 and his ownership of the current home run record baseball. In a late-breaking development, Todd will also grace the cover of Sports Collectors Digest's Sept. 14 edition that reaches subscribers and newsstands beginning the week of Aug. 27. Writer Greg Ambrosius talks with Todd about the race, the value of his collection, plus discussions about home run 71, should it happen.

    And, for those in Arizona, The McFarlane Collection will be at Alice Cooper'stown restaurant in Phoenix on Aug. 28-30. The tour stop coincides with the last regular season home series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Bonds' San Francisco Giants.

    Cooper'stown is located at 101 E. Jackson St., two blocks west of Bank One Ballpark and just south of America West Arena. The Collection chronicles some of the greatest moments from the 1998 season - showcasing McGwire's #70 home run ball, and his #1, 63, 64, 67, 68 and 69 home run baseballs, and Sosa's #33, 61 and 66 baseballs, plus additional memorabilia from baseball's home run heroes.

    So, would he buy a new record baseball? Todd, who bought the 70 ball anonymously by telephone, said you'll have to tune into the Fox Sports Net interview or pick-up SCD to find out. As they say, film at 11 (or in this case, when the National Sports Report airs on the Fox Sports Network cable channel, 10:30 in Arizona - but check local listings).

All stories are Copyright © and TMP International, Inc., and may not be reprinted without permission.

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