One man went to extreme measures while trying to secure a lucrative memento
US baseball announcers were left stunned when a fan showed little care for his own wellbeing by leaping over a railing in a bid to secure New York Yankees star Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball of the season on Tuesday night.
Judge hit the shot in the Yankees’ 3-2 defeat against the Texas Rangers, breaking a record set by Roger Maris all the way back in 1961 in the process.
This comes with a little bit of a caveat, though. Judge’s total remains below those set by various players who have been linked to PED usage throughout their careers, including the 73 home runs hit by Barry Bonds in 2001.
Sections of the baseball community consider Bonds’ record to be illegitimate due to his links to steroids, though Judge has gone on record as saying that he considers 73 to be the score to beat.
ALL RISE FOR 6️⃣2️⃣
Aaron Judge is the AL single-season home run king 👑
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 5, 2022
“The record’s the record,” Judge said last month about speculation he could be the new all-time leader.
“That’s what I go by. I watched him as a kid flip the ball into the bay with ease. That hasn’t changed.”
And after cracking a thunderous drive out towards the stands, it appeared that one fan wanted to save a little bit of history for himself (or maybe sell it on eBay) by securing Judge’s home run ball, even if it could have left him severely injured.
Judge’s ball wasn’t even particularly close to him, but it seems that the daredevil fan’s strategy was to scoop up the ball once it rebounded off the fence.
A fan jumped out of his seat and over the railing for Judge’s #62 HR ball…
Respect. Worth easily $1M+ 💰🔥pic.twitter.com/m3gcJDQ2zF
— ChampionPicks (@ChampionPicks) October 5, 2022
Guy who jumped the rail, I guess to try and grab ball if it didn't make it to the stands. pic.twitter.com/s7entJaHdJ
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) October 5, 2022
“I’m watching the ball travel into left field, all of a sudden, I see a body go over the railing in left field and I’m thinking, ‘Did I just see that, right? Was that a person that fell over?’” remarked Yankees clubhouse announcer Meredith Marakovits.
“I couldn’t tell if they had accidentally fallen over, if they had intentionally fallen over. It was interesting.”
She later added: “I don’t know that it’s worth breaking both legs, we hope that individual is OK. It’s scary.”
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It was later reported that the fan avoided any medical issues as a result of his leap of faith, but to add insult to (what could have been) injury, the man in question didn’t even manage to secure the ball for himself, and he was later removed from the stadium for jumping the fence.
But his death-defying leap can probably be understood when you consider that a previous record home run ball from Mark McGwire (who would also later become embroiled in a steroid scandal) fetched $3 million at auction.
According to Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions, there has already been a bid of $2 million placed upon Judge’s home run ball – and he expects that this figure could inflate even further if a bidding war ensues.
“There’s already a bounty from another memorabilia dealer that I’m aware of for $2 million to get that and you know, it could get more of the open market as well but I do think that’s a pretty strong number,” Ivy said.