Owner of Lee’s record ball announces auction

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Owner of Lee’s record ball announces auction

A Gwangju resident who caught the ball slugger Lee Dae-ho hit last week to break the world record for consecutive games with a home run said Monday that he will sell the prize via auction after the 2010 season.

The Lotte Giants’ Lee homered in his ninth consecutive game during a match against the Kia Tigers in Gwangju, surpassing the eight-game record set in the MLB in the United States.

A 30-year-old Gwangju resident, known by his surname Lim, came into the media spotlight after catching the ball in the outfield stands while watching the game with his family.

“I’m determined to keep Lee’s ball privately at home for now,” Lim said in a telephone interview with Yonhap.

He has also rejected the Giants’ request that the ball be donated to the club’s museum in return for a souvenir. The club gave the two men who caught Lee’s seventh and eighth home run balls a ticket for an overseas trip and a refrigerator, respectively.

“I want to have the ball evaluated at an auction after the season ends,” Lim said.

In 2003, when former Samsung Lions slugger Lee Seung-yeop became the world’s youngest player to hit 300 homers, a businessman paid 120 million won ($101,000) for the ball and bestowed it to the club.

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