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New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge finally joined Roger Maris with 61 home runs in a single season on Wednesday night, smashing a 117 mph hit over the left field fence to tie the American League record.
It was a special baseball that landed in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen, but it was almost in a fan’s glove instead.
Of course, that historical home run would have been extremely valuable for whoever caught it in the stands. After all, pitchers were using special baseballs that were marked to authenticate the blast if it were to happen.
As the ball got closer and closer to the stands, one fan seemed to be in the perfect position on the railing in the left field seats, leaning over and tracking the ball the entire way.
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But just as the ball came to his glove, it hit the leather and just dropped. And with it, the fan’s stomach likely did as well.
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He was that close to a potential big payday, if he chose to walk out of the stadium with the ball.
Brandon Steiner, owner of Steiner Sports Memorabilia, told ESPN New York that Judge’s 61st home run ball could be worth $2.5 million.
The Yankees head back to the Bronx to face the Baltimore Orioles this weekend before heading to Texas to face the Rangers in their final regular-season series. If Judge hits number 62, it could fall in the realm of $5-10 million, says Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions to The Action Network.
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However, number 61 went to Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschman after the fan couldn’t come up clutch with a web gem in the seats.
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Judge called it a “class act” from Buschman and the Blue Jays, who handed the ball over to the Yankees. Their equipment manager has it safely locked up and put away for Judge to add to his trophy case.