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Original Issue

Fashion Statement

THE BALL THAT barry bonds hit for his 756th homer is going to the Hall of Fame—with an asterisk. After he purchased the ball at auction for $752,467 last month, fashion designer Marc Ecko set up a website where fans could vote on its fate. Balloting closed last week, and 47% of 10 million voters chose to donate the ball to the Hall with an asterisk emblazoned on it. (The other options: giving it unaltered or shooting it into space.) Although the affair had the whiff of a publicity stunt for Ecko, 35, whose urban apparel lines generated sales of $1 billion last year, the designer is a hard-core sports fan—he has a basketball court in his New York City office—who says he saw this as a chance to comment on baseball's steroid problem. "I wanted to let people tell the commissioner that 'Hey, baseball is ours,'" he says. The ball will be on loan to Cooperstown and will be displayed even though the Hall isn't crazy about its "decimation."