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Ball-catching fan goes 2-for-2
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04/14/2004  2:50 AM ET
Ball-catching fan goes 2-for-2
Kayaker will keep No. 661, with Bonds' blessing
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Larry Ellison answers questions after recovering Barry Bonds' 661st career home run ball. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The man is all wet, and he loves it.

Larry Ellison from Fairfield, Calif., is a legend now, and he did his creature from the black lagoon imitation for the second straight day Tuesday, paddling furiously in his inflated kayak in McCovey Cove to where Barry Bonds' career homer No. 661 splashed nearby. With a friend also vying for the cherished ball, Ellison leapt into the murky waters to retrieve it.

Glug, glug. The 53-year-old computer executive pocketed Bonds' 660th homer that tied Willie Mays' lifetime mark then graciously donated the ball to Bonds and the happy Mays. "They deserved it," Ellison said.

He will savor this one, however, although the ball may temporarily go on display at SBC Park. For now, it was put into a ballpark safe.

"This broke the record," said Ellison, who had his familar Arnold Schwarzenegger mask with him in the water. "This one is unique. I'm probably going to keep this one."

Bonds said he didn't mind Ellison keeping the ball.

"Six-sixty-one was the one. That's the one I'll keep on my desk forever," he added, explaining he has his 72nd homer from 2001 on his desk and also the first ceremonial pitch that his wife and daughter threw out before a game.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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