Settlement talks fail again; Bonds ball headed for trial

By Ron Harris
Friday October 11, 2002


SAN FRANCISCO — A third mediation attempt to resolve the legal tug-of-war over San Francisco Giants’ star Barry Bonds’ 73rd home run ball has failed. 

Retired Bay Area Judge Coleman Fannin tried in vain to get both sides to settle out of court Wednesday, but lawyers for Alex Popov and Patrick Hayashi said in a joint statement that the difference of opinion would have to be resolved at trial. 

“Parties had extensive confidential conversations but were unable to resolve or settle today. All were very pleased with Judge Fannin, but we are now proceeding to trial,” the statement read. 

The trial over the ball is set to begin Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court, with Judge Kevin McCarthy presiding. 

Popov claims to have caught Bonds’ record-setting home run hit on Oct. 17 last year, only to have it wrestled from his grip by a surging crowd of fans and end up in the hands of Patrick Hayashi. 

Both sides have spent much of the week in and out of court, bickering over money, baseball, and ownership in a war of words that spilled over into the hallway outside of the San Francisco Superior Court of Judge Ronald Quidachay Monday. 

Hayashi said earlier this week he’s not willing to part with the ball without a court fight. 

“I value the ball just as much as he does,” Hayashi said. “If it goes to trial, that’s what will happen. I will be the owner of that ball. 

The ball remains under lock and key in a safe deposit box, based on a court order.