Barry Bonds's 756th home-run ball was purchased for almost $756,000 in 2007 by the designer Marc Ecko, who branded it with an asterisk. The astronomical price was fairly surprising, given that Bonds's steroid regimen and criminal behavior didn't increase his stock with baseball fans. "With the environment or climate today, that probably would not bring that kind of money," Kohler says. Still, the 756th home run – which pushed Bonds past Hank Aaron, making him the all-time leader – holds significance for some fans, even if it is an artifact of a complicated era. That's why the ball is on exhibit at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

"It still goes back to the history of the game," Kohler says. "Records, stats. They're a big part of baseball."