Aaron Judge’s 62nd HR ball to go under the hammer after $3M deal falls through

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ESPN
Michael Bennington
Friday November 18, 2022

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Cory Youmans, who owns Aaron Judge’s 62nd HR ball, is set to become lucky again by putting the sports memorabilia for sale at an auction. The Texas-based fan has already declined a $3 million offer for the record-setting home run ball.

Cory Youmans caught the 62nd HR ball when Aaron Judge scripted a new AL record surpassing Roger Maris’ 61-year-old milestone at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Youmans’ attorney, Dave Baron, disclosed to ESPN that the owner of the 62nd HR ball rejected an offer of $3 million made to him in the recent past. He has opted for Goldin Auctions, a New Jersey-based leader in sports collectibles, to start the auction on November 29.

The fan from Texas, a top executive at a $200-billion investment firm, is putting it up for auction because he wants to set a record price for it. Ken Goldin, the auctioneer who is selling the 62nd HR ball for the lucky spectator, thinks that the ball will sell for more than $3 million. Depending on how much more was paid, the sale could set a new record for a baseball that was used in a game.

According to Goldin:

“The 62nd HR ball has the potential to become the highest-priced baseball ever sold. Three million plus would be my estimate.”

In 1999, Mark McGwire’s 70th HR ball dating back to 1998 fetched $3.05 million. McGwire, who played in the National League for the St. Louis Cardinals, later said that he had used steroids.

Aaron Judge, an outfielder for the Yankees, is trying out for free agency for the first time in his career. On Thursday, he won the Most Valuable Player Award for the American League. When he hit his 62nd home run of the year against Jess Tinoco of the Texas Rangers on October 4, he beat Roger Maris, who hit 61 for the Yankees in 1961. This made him the first player to break the American League’s single-season record.

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Cory Youmans, who is from Dallas, caught the 62nd HR ball as it flew over the left-field wall. Youmans, who was in the first row, caught the ball in his baseball glove. He was then led by security guards to the stadium’s basement, where MLB officials checked the ball for secret markings and made sure it was real.

Youmans asked Goldin to handle the sale afterward. The 62nd HR ball had been in a safe deposit box, but this week an armed guard brought it to Goldin’s headquarters outside. On Thursday, the online preauction started.

“It would not surprise me if the winning bidder either purchased it on behalf of Aaron Judge or possibly donates it to the Hall of Fame,” Goldin said. “I definitely think it’s one of those items that would garner that type of interest.”

A 20% buyer’s premium will be added to the highest bid and given to the auction house. The bidding process is set to end on December 17. Goldin says that Youmans’s contract forbids him from talking out public.

Michael Kessler, 20, a Yankees fan from New York, caught the ball that Aaron Judge hit for his 60th home run. After that game on September 20, he gave it back to Judge in exchange for a signed bat and balls and a picture with Judge and the fan’s friends. When a ball goes into the stands, whoever catches it owns it. Kessler said he caught the ball in the middle of a mad scrum.

Eight days later, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Aaron Judge hit No. 61 off Blue Jays pitcher Tim Mayza. A fan named Frankie Lasagna almost caught the ball. But the ball hit Lasagna’s glove and went into the bullpen of the home team, where Blue Jays coach Matt Buschmann picked it up. He gave it to Zack Britton, a relief pitcher for the Yankees. Britton then gave it to Judge.

So, after No. 59, the only one of Judge’s three home run balls that will be sold is the 62nd HR ball. Auctioneers experienced in sports memorabilia earlier predicted $2 million for the ball while Goldin had a lower estimate then – about $500,000. As the hunt went on and interest grew, he changed his estimate to a little over $1 million. He also said that anyone who caught it would get $250,000.

Goldin thinks the booming memorabilia market over the last few years, the appeal of the Yankees as an iconic team, and Judge’s appeal are set to propel the 62nd HR ball price to a new height.

Some people also think that Judge’s AL record is more legitimate than the others, who reached the height during the so-called “steroids era,” because he is the only player to beat Maris without any known mistakes in his performance. Barry Bonds’rd HR ball was got $450,000. McGwire followed up his 70-homer season with 65 in 1999. Sammy Sosa hit 63 or more home runs three times for the Chicago Cubs. But potential collectors couldn’t trust any of the three marks because they were linked to performance enhancers.

“There will be people who say that, and there will be people who say this is the best ever,” Goldin stated and added, “I’m all for it if that’s what they want to believe and it makes them bid more.”

Goldin had a Michael Jordan jersey from the 1998 NBA finals when he played for the Chicago Bulls. The jersey sold for $50,000 in 1998, but it recently sold for $10 million. Goldin said that a Babe Ruth bat sold at the same time would have gone for less than $100,000, but is now worth more than $1 million.

He said:

“There are a lot more collectors out there now, and the price of sports collectibles is a lot higher than it was in 1998. This kind of thing is like the Powerball of baseball. We have no idea when it will hit. But we know that whoever gets it when it hits will be rich.”

As of Thursday afternoon, more photos of the 62nd HR ball can be seen on the website of the company. Once interested buyers pass a credit check, the pre-bidding will start in a week to ten days. In the next few weeks, Goldin will show the 62nd HR ball to a small group of buyers who are interested.

How much do you think the 62nd HR ball will be able to fetch?

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