As the Giants and Bonds sever their relationship, it has been announced that the buyer of Bonds' record breaking home run will brand the ball with an asterisk and send it to the Hall of Fame.
Certainly, on initially being informed, we found this to be a distasteful act. Regardless of one's personal feelings about Bonds' accomplishments, defacing what may well end up being one of the most important pieces of baseball memorabilia seemed like a selfish act.
But further reflection and investigation led us to understand that this is something that the renowned baseball fan and historian -fashionista Mark Ecko- feels compelled to do based on his legendary involvement as a fan and as an activist in campaigning for the integrity and sanctity of the game.
As with most male fashionistas, his self expression is best exemplified through artistic contribution. Therefore, it seems logical for him to handle a ball as the object and target of his passion. Of his passionate act.
Certainly, what must be most troubling for a super fan and baseball guy like Ecko, is the media coverage of the event.
Ecko went the low key route of asking internet friends what they would like him to do with the ball. Somehow, through no effort or initiative of his own, it became a highly publicized event. Ecko simply wanted to get some opinions on how best to show his personal belief that Bonds' record was tainted. And, much to his chagrin, this turned into a media carnival which put Ecko in the news more than he probably ever had been. And brought him to sports media outlets probably for the very first time.
So, unfortunately, what was initiated as a passionate and individual statement about a fashionista's personal and intimate feelings for a ball, was turned into a cheap stunt by the every meddling media.
We feel compelled to stand up for Mark Ecko, baseball fan and guardian of the game.
This wasn't about publicity. This wasn't about the Ecko brand.
This was about a fashion designer's passion for balls.