Yankees fans return Judge’s 60th HR ball, leaves a huge payday appeared first on NBC Sports Boston
Aaron Judge hit a milestone 60 home run into the left field bleachers at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
And then there was chaos in the crowd.
A video posted on social media showed a dog that came together when some fans went after a valuable piece of New York Yankees memorabilia.
Michael Kessler, a 20-year-old college baseball player at the City College of New York, was the one who emerged from the tree with the ball. Kessler, who is a pitcher and outfielder, detailed to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch how he came up with 60th Judge.
“[My three teammates and I] We were standing on top of the bleachers and then went down for his bat,” Kessler said. “We were jumping up and down because I knew it was a home run. It hit the top of the bleachers and then bounced towards our section. I just went to grab him and hugged him.”
Although Kessler was able to hit the historic home ball, he didn’t hold on to it for long. That’s because Yankees fans gave the ball back to Judge after New York’s impressive 9-8 walk-off victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In return, Kessler and his three CCNY teammates who were at the game received an autographed ball from Judge, and Kessler also received an autographed bat. The foursome also took pictures with the Yankees star during a meet and greet at the New York clubhouse.
What Kessler got in exchange for the ball doesn’t seem like much, especially when you consider how much money he could sell it for. Action Network’s Darren Rovell surveyed several people within the sports memorabilia community about the potential value of Judge’s 60th home run ball and returned valuations ranging from $50,000 to $50,000. $500,000 plus.
Yes, Kessler could decide to sell the memorabilia he got from Judge, but why would he go for the huge payday that would have come with the home run ball?
“Judge means so much to the organization, especially this year. It’s just incredible. Just the way it is, he deserved the ball back,” Kessler said. “I have no second thoughts.”
“It means a lot to me to give it back to him,” Kessler added.
Definitely a classy move from one ballplayer to another.
Judge is having a great individual season. He is just the sixth player in MLB history to hit at least 60 home runs in a season and the first to do so since Barry Bonds (73 homers) and Sammy Sosa (64) in 2001. With two more long balls, the Judge over Roger. Maris single-season record for the Yankees and American League.
The 30-year-old could become the 11th player to win the Triple Crown since 1920, when RBI became an official stat. He entered Wednesday’s play leading the AL in homers, RBI (128) and batting average (.316).