For those of you with nine figures of disposable income, you have a chance at owning Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball. The person who caught it, Cory Youmans, is putting the ball up for auction. He told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that he is going to sell the ball through Goldin Auction House.
A logical move. It’s what was done with Barry Bonds’ 756th home run, Mark McGwire’s 70th, and many others. However, apparently Youmans has already reportedly received quite a lucrative offer for the ball.
“We’ve already had an offer for $3 million,” Youman’s lawyer told Passan. “Talking to the auction people, they don’t really commit to a number, but they said it just could be significantly higher based on New York, the New York fan base and how crazy it could get at an auction.”
Yes, Yankees fans can be a rambunctious lot, but turning down $3 million on the spot is quite the all-in. Youmans hit his third king on the river, but there’s also an inside straight draw and an ace on the board. While this ball might mean the world to some generational season-ticket holder at Yankee Stadium, Judge didn’t break an MLB record. When he hit the home run, the ticker at the bottom of the screen showed that he set the all-time, American League single-season home run record.
Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball was auctioned off in 1999 for $3.05 million — still the record for the highest price ever spent on a ball at an auction. Accounting for standard inflation — in addition to the supercharged 2022 one that electrically shocked gas and bacon prices worldwide — it’s reasonable to expect that the Judge ball could sell for way more than that.
But, McGwire actually set a record. Before Barry Bonds broke it, when the MLB record stood at 70, that ball was the actual all-time single-season home run record. Also, it could be argued that the home-run chase of 1998 was baseball at the height of its popularity. It rose from the ashes of the strike with one of the biggest American sports storylines in years.
Ken Goldin, of the same Goldin Auction house that will be auctioning off Judge’s home-run ball for Youmans, estimated that McGwire’s ball is worth about $250,000, per TMZ. Losing the record to Bonds three years after setting it, and the alleged performance enhancing drugs that have stained it, certainly contributed to the steep decline in value. That might also explain why Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 756th home run ball sold at auction for less than $800,000, and his final 762nd didn’t even go for $300,000.
Judge has never been linked in any way to PED usage, but that era does cloud the game for some of the baseball pursuits. For those who aren’t bothered by that part of baseball history, many of them don’t care about the sport the way that Americans did during the great chase of 1998.
Youmans is pushing those Yankee pinstripes to the middle of the casino table. He’s betting that the magnitude of that franchise, and Judge being a clean player, so far will net him a figure beyond his wildest dreams.
I hope it works out for the man.