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HOME RUN CHASE


September 7, 1998


Mike Davidson


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Q. Why don't you first tell us a little bit about yourself?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I am 28. I lived in St. Louis all my life, just happen to get a free ticket from my brother‑in‑law for today's game.

Q. What do you do for a living?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I am a catering manager.

Q. Where?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Kenricks Meat and Catering.

Q. Describe what happened, how you ended up with the ball.
MIKE DAVIDSON: All I did was, ball was hit, I turned around, went over, it hit the restaurant came down, bounced off five peoples hands, rolled underneath my seat. I picked it up.

Q. Did you get hit?
MIKE DAVIDSON: A few times. By a friend and anyone else.

Q. Then what happened?
MIKE DAVIDSON: The cops just ushered me out. That was the end of it. I stuck it inside my shirt.

Q. What are you going to do with it?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Going to give it back to Mark.

Q. When? Has arrangements been made?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Not yet.

Q. What will you ask for it?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Haven't really thought about it yet.

Q. Anybody make any offers you already?
MIKE DAVIDSON: No.

Q. I will give you 5 bucks. (Laughter.)
Would any offer change your mind?
MIKE DAVIDSON: No.

Q. Have you thought about this ahead of time?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Yes, I have.

Q. Was this a seat at random or just a seat that you just got today?
MIKE DAVIDSON: No, they are my brother‑in‑law's season ticket. He had to work so I got his tickets.

Q. What is his name?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Mike Izo. .

Q. What does he do? (meaning brother‑in‑law)
MIKE DAVIDSON: He works over at Dearburgs's as a produce manager.

Q. What seat were you actually in?
MIKE DAVIDSON: 281, row 1, seat 1.

Q. Were you wearing that Jersey when you caught the ball?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Yes, I was.

Q. Did you just buy it today or have you had it a while?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Took my wife for breakfast, we stopped and we bought it today because I didn't have nothing red to wear.

Q. What do you think your brother‑in‑law is going to say?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Probably want a cut of whatever I get.

Q. Would you hold up the ball. Did you see what the marking on the ball is?
MIKE DAVIDSON: They got a number 8 on it, then they said there is something that you have got to put it under infrared lights to see. Just a little number 8 in the corner.

Q. Someone has offered a million dollars for ball 62 to publicize human rights. If this were number 62 what would you do?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Give it to Mark McGwire.

Q. Why?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Because it would mean more to him and baseball than it would to me ‑ than a million dollars.

Q. You said you didn't want anything, but you said your brother‑in‑law would get a cut of whatever you got?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Right. Only thing I want is an autographed jersey and to meet Mark McGwire.

Q. How much does your jersey cost?
MIKE DAVIDSON: 57.

Q. What is your background growing up, have you always been a Cardinal fan?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I have always been a Cardinal fan. I have lived here all my life.

Q. How many games have you been to this year?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I get to about 15 a year.

Q. Do you have tickets for tomorrow?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Only if I can talk my brother‑in‑law out of his.

Q. Ever caught a home run or a foul ball before?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I have caught a foul ball but never a home run.

Q. What was your first thought the minute you caught the ball?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Who is hitting me. (Laughter.)

Q. Second thought then.
MIKE DAVIDSON: How am I going to get out of here alive.

Q. Do you think about this or have any conversation with friends about the morality of this and what to do with the ball?
MIKE DAVIDSON: We have talked about it at work joking around what we would want for it and everything, but I always figure I would give it back to Mark McGwire.

Q. What are you going to do tomorrow, if you don't come to the game?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Go to work first thing. If I am home in time, I will watch it.

Q. What time do you have to be at work?
MIKE DAVIDSON: 4:30 tomorrow morning.

Q. Would you consider asking for a couple of tickets for tomorrow night?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I guess I thought about it, maybe. But I want the same seats I had.

Q. You said your wife was here ‑‑
MIKE DAVIDSON: My wife is not here.

Q. Who were the other two people here?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I only had one other ticket holder ‑ a friend of mine Jim Dilg.

Q. Was he the one hitting you?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Actually he was.

Q. Were you concerned about your safety after you caught the ball and were the security people around you?
MIKE DAVIDSON: The security and the St. Louis police did an excellent job; got me out of there with no problems and in a very quick hurry.

Q. Would you describe what you have done since catching the ball?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I have had an interview with ESPN. ESPN radio, Fox; sat down with the commissioner and the Maris family.

Q. Are you going to keep the autographed shirt?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Yes, I am, to show my unborn child.

Q. Did you get to see the Maris bat?
MIKE DAVIDSON: No, I haven't.

Q. Sounds like you work pretty hard. How many hours a week do you work?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Anywhere from 40 to 80.

Q. At any point did you consider how much that money could change your life?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Yes, I have, but I figure it would be more aggravation dealing with people that come out of the woodwork when people win the lottery instead of just giving the ball to Mark McGwire for him to appreciate.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to your wife yet?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Yes, I have and she is thrilled.

Q. You have an unborn child. If it is male, would you name it Mark?
MIKE DAVIDSON: No, we have already picked the names out so ‑‑

Q. How would you compare this to everything else that has happened in your life?
MIKE DAVIDSON: So far it is the biggest thrill of my life, so far.

Q. You started to talk about the aggravation that would come if you held on to it. Did you start to feel that already or what made you think about it?
MIKE DAVIDSON: Not really, but I have had a distant relative win the lottery and they have been driven out, basically. We don't hear from them anymore. People coming out of the woodwork irritating them for money and stuff.

Q. How much did he win?
MIKE DAVIDSON: I have no idea.

End of FastScripts
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