Love the pic.
That stuff about the guy being taxed based on what it may sell for is BS.
I agree on the tax situation - it stinks. But they did treat all the McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds 2001 balls as prize winnings/found property. Found property is taxable unless returned to the owner, and prizes are taxable unless ALL of the following are true:
1. You were awarded a prize in recognition of accomplishments in religious, charitable, scientific, artistic, educational, literary, or civic fields.
2. You were selected without any action on your part to enter the contest or proceeding.
3. You are not required to perform substantial future services as a condition to receiving the prize or award.
4. The prize or award is transferred by the payer directly to a governmental unit or exempt charitable organization as designated by you. (You cannot then claim a charitable tax deduction for the assignment on your tax return as you simply do not declare the income).
If they take the same stance they have previously, the guy must make an estimated tax payment by September 15 unless he meets certain requirements (such as not having any taxable income for 2006 - he is a Mets fan, so that may be the case).
Doug Mientkiewicz returned the 2004 WS baseball to the MLB and the HOF rather than face a $3 million tax liability. In that case, the ball was ruled abandoned by MLB, and found property, which he returned to its "rightful" owner.