Here's a follow-up to my own 'challenge'.
I went to work on it this AM, I tried everything I could think of, solvent, heat, compressed air--nothing seemed to dislodge the ball until I made a wire handle which was used to smack it against my anvil-- it then moved a little. after several smacks it came out enough to use needle nose pliers on it--and out she came. It was just solid with grime, dirt, packed solid with shmutz. Once it was apart it was then and easy job to clean everything and reassemble. I was even able to re-use the old spring once it was clean. Care must be taken to re-install a good pin, you will want to clean this part every few years or as necessary. I put in a pin that will be easy to remove next time.
It seems these parts are designed in such a way that they get very dirty very easily which lead to my original problem. I recommend against adding lubricant (oil) to the magazine even if it feels a little gritty. The lube will attract dirt and the ball will be plugged with grime again even sooner. Keep it dry and make it easy to take apart and service it and it should be working good again for a long time.