Celebrity McGwire's $3M Ball By People Staff Published on May 14, 1999 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Home-run king Mark McGwire’s record-setting 70th home-run ball has fetched a record-setting price at a sports memorabilia auction in Manhattan. An anonymous party phoned in a $2.7 million bid for the item. The final price of $2.99 million included a hefty $290,000 commission owed to the auctioneer, Guernsey’s. Crowds of bidders and spectators in Madison Square Garden began muttering as the pricetag passed beyond $1 million — the estimated figure that the auction house had been hoping for. The crowd gasped as someone on the phone agreed to the winning price. The staggering sum eclipsed the previous high paid for a baseball — $126,500 for the first home-run ball Babe Ruth swatted in Yankee Stadium. That one sold only last November. McGwire has given the bat he used to belt No. 70 to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY.