SBD/Issue 229/Law & Politics

Bonds Collector Selling Off Memorabilia After Forgery Claims

Collector Selling Off
Bonds Memorabilia
The remaining pieces of Jeff Kranz’ collection of Barry Bonds memorabilia — including the jersey Bonds wore when he hit his first home run at Pac Bell Park and his cleats from the ’96 All-Star Game — are for sale on an Internet auction at Lelands.com that ends tomorrow, according to Williams & Fainaru-Wada of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Kranz, who said that he “spent more than $250,000 to build” the collection, “is embittered because he says Bonds falsely told the FBI that many items in his collection were fakes — and then brought FBI agents to the collector’s Long Island home in search of clues.” Kranz has since “broken with Bonds and has dumped his Bonds memorabilia, selling much of it at a deep discount.”

GET REAL: Williams & Fainaru-Wada write Kranz bought “most of his memorabilia from” Bonds’ former business manager Steve Hoskins, “who has emerged as a prospective witness against” Bonds in a probe into whether Bonds committed perjury in connection with the BALCO case. Federal documents show that Bonds’ attorney, Michael Rains, told an FBI agent in July ’03 that Hoskins “had been ‘forging Barry’s name to merchandise and then pocketing the money.’” Hoskins’ attorney, Michael Cardoza, said that the FBI last year dismissed Bonds’ complaints and “exonerated Hoskins.” But Rains “disputed” Kranz’s claim that Bonds “made false accusations about the memorabilia.” However, Kranz said, “He destroyed the market single-handedly by telling everyone the stuff was no good.” Kranz added that before the memorabilia controversy and the BALCO scandal, game-used Bonds bats “could command $3,500,” but in “recent months, they have gone for as little as $1,100.” Williams & Fainaru-Wada write the auction “has attracted moderate interest,” and Kranz hopes that a game-used jersey from the ’00 season, one of several items seized and subsequently returned by the FBI, “will go for $15,000 — half of what it was once worth” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/24).

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