Up for Grabs (2005)


Critic Consensus: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.


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Movie Info

In the summer of 2001, baseball star Barry Bonds was in the final stretch of a remarkable season when he knocked his 73rd home run of the year into the stands at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, breaking the major league record in the process. However, what happened after that soon became something of a tempest in a teapot -- spectator Patrick Hayashi walked away with the record-setting ball, but fellow fan Alex Popov claimed that he caught the ball, but it was wrestled away from him when dozens of folks were reaching for it at once. In time, Papov went so far as to take the matter to court...not as silly as it might sound when one considers that some sports memorabilia dealers estimated its value at one million dollars. Up for Grabs is a witty documentary from first-time director Michael Wranovics that examines the war of words and later court case between Hayashi and Popov, as different observers recall the big moment in very different ways. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Up for Grabs

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (20)

Even if you didn't follow the story then, Wranovics tells it so wryly your interest never flags -- and there's more suspense for newcomers, since the mystery and court verdict remain in doubt until the end.

Jun 26, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Up For Grabs, a buoyant documentary by Michael Wranovics, touches three bases of contemporary life: greed, litigiousness and a fixation with fame, however fleeting, that rises to the level of dementia.

May 1, 2007

It's a terrific story -- part mystery, part farce, part legal nail-biter -- with a last-minute reversal so bitterly ironic it could have been scripted by Billy Wilder.

Apr 23, 2007 | Full Review…

In the annals of baseball history, their battle will remain a curious little footnote, but sometimes footnotes are more compelling than the main text.

Sep 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

This smartly assembled comedy articulates irritation with and bewilderment at its subject: the legal battle for possession of a baseball.

Aug 12, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It would be hard to find a more succinct and entertaining indictment of American popular culture and obsessive sports fans.

Jun 17, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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