BONDS' FATE: Marc Ecko has been making the rounds in New York since he bought Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run ball on Saturday. The hip-hop mogul paid $752,467 for the ball and set up a Web site, Vote756.com, where people can vote on the ball's fate. Ecko was on NBC's "Today" show on Monday and on Wednesday made an appearance in Times Square. "The amount of people voting already has been tremendous. I know there's even at least two betting lines happening in Vegas as we speak," Ecko said just after posing for photos with the ball and prominent Times Square fixture Naked Cowboy. "I bought this ball to make a statement about democracy. People's emotions have been running wild about where it should end up. I find the whole thing really fascinating. It's been an exciting ride."
Voting on the site will end on Sept. 25 at 11:59 p.m. Voters can choose whether they want to see the ball go to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., want it branded with an asterisk (implying that the home run record should be viewed with skepticism in light of Bonds' alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs) and then send it to the Hall of Fame, or want the ball sent into space.
FERRE TRIBUTE: Gianfranco Ferré's hometown of Legnano, Italy, is preparing to honor its late local hero. City officials just approved a measure to name a town square after the designer, who died in June. Piazza Gianfranco Ferré will occupy a large space, formerly occupied by a cotton plant, which the city has been revitalizing. "This is a necessary recognition of a man who contributed to the success of 'Made In Italy,'" Mayor Lorenzo Vitali said in a statement. Legnano, a small picturesque town near Milan, named Ferré a distinguished citizen in 1989.