The Happy Youngster might be on his way to law school after reading this one; a Miami family has forced the Phillies to return a home run ball by threat of a lawsuit. America!
In July, Ryan Howard became the fastest to 200 home runs. That ball went out at Land Shark Stadium, where it was caught by 12-year-old Jennifer Valdivia. At the time, Phillies officials traded an autographed ball to the family in exchange for the historic one, as Howard wanted it for sentimental value.
I'm not sure if it's better described as indian giving or buyer's remorse, but the Valdivias decided they wanted it back. So they retained a lawyer, and filed a suit on Monday. Rather than go through that hassle, the Phils returned the ball.
You might be saying to yourself, "Self! How can they bring a lawsuit when they traded the ball away?" Well, according to the suit,
A Phillies team rep took her daughter aside without an adult guardian, plied her with candy, and got her to exchange the historic ball for a replacement.
Good job, Valdivia family. Simply by letting a stranger claiming to work for the team take your daughter god knows where, you earned a ball that's probably not worth the cost of bringing a lawsuit.
Ryan Howard might end up having the last laugh, however. I'd like to see the Valdivias prove the ball given to them is the real one.
Jennifer Valdivia Gets Ryan Howard HR Ball [Fort Worth Weekly]