When Aaron Judge hit his record-breaking 62nd home run, a fan hit the jackpot.
The New York Yankees hitter came off Roger Maris’ American League record in a season with his 62nd home run Tuesday, and Cory Youmans – who sat in left field with a front-row seat – was the lucky fan the field of life that caught the historical souvenir in the Globe.
Youmans, a Dallas resident and Texas Rangers fan, said he doesn’t yet know if he’ll keep the ball and after making the catch – an event that led to euphoric celebrations – he was removed from the seating area by security escorted.
Should Youmans sell the ball, he could be in for a nice payday.
“In the last week or so, our colleagues at auction house Memory Lane have guaranteed they will pay $2 million to the person who catches the ball,” Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, told CNN.
“With all the publicity and excitement, and the fact that this is Aaron Judge of the Yankees, I wouldn’t be surprised if another auction house or sports investment group bought the ball for $5 million in the current environment of the sports memorabilia market.
“Assuming Judge doesn’t play tonight [against the Rangers]this ball will live on in New York Yankees lore forever.”
However, Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, calls the $2 million price tag a “dramatic overpayment” and “more of a publicity stunt,” rather than valuing the ball at $1.25 million.
“It’s a historic achievement reinforced by the fact that he’s a popular player and plays for the New York Yankees,” Goldin told CNN, adding that at $1.25 million, it was the second most expensive baseball ever sold would.
In 1999, Mark McGwire’s 70th home run baseball fetched $3 million including commissions at auction, which was the most money ever paid for a sports artifact at the time.
David Hunt, President of Hunt Auctions, agrees that higher valuations are used as a tool to generate “branding and media coverage” for auction houses, and that Judge’s 62nd home run ball is “more like an object worth from an estimated perspective.” $500,000 to $1 million. ”
“But to be clear,” Hunt told CNN, “I could certainly see a way that it would go for a million or maybe even two if the right bidders got involved. It’s not impossible.”
In a statement sent to CNN, auction house Lelands called Judge’s 62nd home run ball “the most valuable baseball hit in recent years…is estimated to be in the seven-figure range.”
“It’s just unbelievable that a $20 baseball can turn into a seven-figure ball with a pop of the bat,” the statement added.
When Judge tied Maris’ record with his 61st home run last week, no fan could catch the ball as it fell into the bullpen and was eventually passed to Judge, who then gave it to his mother.
Michael Kessler, the 20-year-old fan who hit Judge’s 60th home run, traded the ball for a clubhouse meet-and-greet with the Yankees slugger, four signed baseballs and a signed game bat, according to MLB.com.
“I don’t know where it is,” Judge told reporters when asked about the fate of his 62nd home run ball.
“We’ll see what happens with that. It would be great to get it back, but it’s a souvenir for a fan. They made a great catch out there and they have every right to it.”
Since breaking Maris’ 61-year-old record with his 391-foot drive in the first inning of Tuesday’s game against Rangers, Judge has received widespread praise — including from President Joe Biden.
“Congratulations @TheJudge44 on home run 62. Making history, making more history,” Biden said wrote on twitter.
Barry Bonds holds the major league record of 73 home runs in a single season, but many have cast doubt on the milestone as he – along with other players of the era – was involved in performance-enhancing drug scandals and allegedly used steroids. Bonds has denied these allegations.
While it remains unclear if Judge will play Wednesday’s last game of the regular season, he has an outside chance to win the American League’s Triple Crown by leading the circuit in batting averages, runs batted and home runs.
He is first on home runs and RBIs, but trails Minnesota Twins star Luis Arráez in batting averages.
If Judge plays Wednesday and hits another home run, it would likely change the value of the ball Tuesday night.
“It’s not his last home run ball, it’s not the one that set a new record, so it’s not nearly as viable,” explained Hunt.
But there is also a scenario where catching Youmans only increases in value.
“If we go another 15, 20, 30 years and nobody breaks that record, this could end up being a very, very special, historical piece that would point to a higher realm of value,” Hunt said.