Man With Million Dollar Balls

Todd McFarlane holds Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball. McFarlane bought the ball for $2.6 million.

Back in 1998, It seemed crazy when Todd McFarlane — a brilliant but eccentric comic-book artist turned action-figure mogul — paid $3 million for the ball Mark McGwire hit for his then record-breaking 70th home run.

It seemed even crazier when he paid about $500,000 for Barry Bonds’s record-breaking 73rd home run ball in 2003. Steroids scandals were by then casting shadows over home run records, and McFarlane was riding the memorabilia market down. But it doesn’t seem so crazy now that McFarlane Toys is the official distributor of action figures for all four major American sports.

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