NEW YORK (AP)The ball New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit for his American League-record 62nd home run has gone up for auction.
Cory Youmans, who caught the ball, sold its rights to the auction house Goldin, whose founder says it will ”almost certainly” bring in the highest price ever paid for a baseball.
The opening bid for the ball is $1 million.
”Unlike bats or jerseys which players and teams technically own, a home run ball is the immediate property of whatever fan catches it,” founder Ken Goldin said in a statement. ”In this case, this particular ball was basically a winning Powerball ticket.”
On a conference call with reporters Thursday night after winning the AL MVP award, Judge was told Youmans turned down $3 million for the ball.
”That’s a lot of money. But I guess he’s got a better plan or thinks he can get some more,” Judge said. ”He caught the ball, he’s the one that made the play out there in left field, so it’s his right to do what he wants with it. Hopefully he’s making the right decision for him and his family.”
Judge said he won’t be bidding on the keepsake.
”I haven’t signed my free agent deal yet, so I think that’s a little out of my price range right now,” he joked.
Judge’s homer Oct. 4 against the Texas Rangers surpassed the AL record set by another Yankee, Roger Maris, in 1961.
The historic souvenir came sailing into the front row of section 31 in left field at Globe Life Field, a drive Judge hit to lead off the second game of a doubleheader. Youmans snared it on the fly with his glove.
Asked at the time what he planned to do with the ball, Youmans said, ”Good question. I haven’t thought about it.”
Judge, who has played for the Yankees his entire career, is currently a free agent.
He was also honored last week with one of the Hank Aaron Awards given to the most outstanding offensive performers in each league.
Bidding on the ball opens Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 17.
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