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Buyer Pays $500,000 For Baseball Maybe He Knows Something We Don’t

Why is it the guy who runs the Psychic Friends Network has to pay $500,000 for Eddie Murray’s 500th home run ball? Why didn’t he just call the network and find out where to sit with a fielder’s glove?

The ball Murray slammed Sept. 6 let him join Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players with more than 3,000 career hits and 500 home runs.

Paying $500,000 for it will make Michael Lasky, a former professional sports handicapper, the buyer in the biggest sports memorabilia deal ever publicly struck.

Lasky, president and CEO of Inphomation Communications Inc., the infomercial company behind the Psychic Friends Network, made his offer for the ball in an ad in Sunday’s editions of The (Baltimore) Sun.

The seller, Dan Jones, a 30-year-old marketing director who caught the ball, met with Lasky again Wednesday to discuss terms of the deal.

What will he do with the $500,000? Ask a psychic.

“I haven’t really had time to think about it,” Jones said.

Lasky’s insistence that he’s neither a collector nor much of a fan rings true with professional sports memorabilia dealers.

“I can’t believe what would possess somebody to pay that much money for that ball,” said Donald Flanagan, a consultant to Christies auction house.

Flanagan priced the Murray ball at $10,000 to $15,000. Other experts have said it might be worth as much as $20,000. Jones claims he was told it was worth $50,000 to $100,000 by memorabilia dealers.

“It’s worth what someone’s willing to pay for it,” said Jones.