Judge hit home run number 62 on October 4 at Globe Life Field in Texas, game 161 of the 2022 regular season for the Yankees, which set the new American League single-season record for home runs previously held by another Yankee legend, Roger Maris. After the season, he agreed to a new nine-year $360 million contract with the Yankees to stay in pinstripes for life and create his pathway to Monument Park.
The fan who caught the ball in those left-field seats of the stadium was Cory Youmans. Youmans turned down an initial offer of $3 million in exchange for the historic baseball to test the people’s market through the auction and see how much it could go for.
When Judge himself learned that the fan was putting his piece of history for auction, he said that it is within the fan’s right to do what he wishes to do with the baseball, and also said he wasn’t going to place a bid on the auction for himself, jokingly stating back in November, “I haven’t signed my free agent contract yet.”
“That’s a lot of money. But I guess he’s got a better plan or thinks he can get some more [money]”, 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.”Aaron Judge via ESPN’s Jeff Passan
Ultimately, Youmans says he wants the baseball to be either in the hands of Judge or the Baseball Hall of Fame, but with the ball currently in the hands of the auction, a game of hot potato seems to be underway with a piece of baseball immortality.
Judge had one of the greatest individuals seasons by a professional athlete ever, hitting the 62 home runs along with driving in 131 runs and nearly winning the batting title, hitting at .311 (three points shy of Luis Arraez’s league-leading .314), which would’ve won him baseball’s first triple crown award since Miguel Cabrera in 2012.
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