What Would You Trade Aaron Judge’s 62nd Home Run Ball For?

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It’s a tale as old as time. 

The peasant vs the noble.

The haves vs the have nots.

The hard-working baseball fan vs the player making hundreds of millions of dollars.

And every once in a while, the fan has the leverage.

That’s about to happen again very soon.

Fourth of July Hits Different In This MLB Era
Aaron Judge is chasing history and very soon a fan will likely hold that piece of MLB glory. (Photo via Getty Images)


New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is looking to break Roger Maris’s (legitimate) home run record of 61 – and it could happen any day now (Judge currently has 59 homers). And for the person who catches #62 – you’re talking about potentially life-changing money.

Some estimates say that the American League home run record-breaking ball could be worth anywhere from $1 million to $5 million!

In 1998, comic book artist Todd McFarlane bought Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball at auction for $3 million. However, that ball has decreased significantly in value. Part of that is due to the steroid association, which Judge doesn’t have.

So my question is – what would you do if you caught that milestone memorabilia?

Would you cave in and give it back for nothing? Or would you demand something in return – and if so, what?


Aaron Judge literally could not offer anything autographed that would even come close to the amount of money that historic baseball would be worth.

The Yankees? Sure they could offer a current team signed photo, baseball bat or ball – but do you really want something that has Aaron Hick’s autograph on it? Talk about devaluing a product.

Would you go for a cash sum?

Playoff tickets? But what happens if the team gets knocked out in the first round?

You’re talking about potentially MILLIONS OF DOLLARS if you catch this ball.

… or how about a guarantee that Judge would re-sign with the team?

The most recent benchmark for Aaron Judge’s home run ball was Tom Brady’s record-breaking TD pass (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)


Remember last year after Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans caught Tom Brady’s career record 600th touchdown pass? Evans ended up throwing it into the crowd to a random fan, who eventually gave it to the Bucs for nowhere near the half a million dollars it was expected to fetch at auction.

Even CBS announcer and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo knew how important that ball was, joking that the guy should be able to get a date with Giselle. (He may have a chance…)

The team, realizing the bad optics if they didn’t pay up SOMETHING, eventually offered the fan:

  • Two signed jerseys and a helmet from Brady. 
  • A signed Mike Evans jersey plus the cleats Evans wore in the game.
  • A $1,000 gift card to the team store. 
  • Buccaneers season-tickets for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022. 

That’s a hell of a far-cry from the potential $500,000 value.

Brady also gave the person a bitcoin. Which in 2021 seemed awesome when bitcoin was all the rage and worth over $60,000.

Now? Not so much as it’s fallen to just a 1/3rd of that value.



Back in 2010, a Yankees security guard caught A-Rod’s 600th home run. Some suggested he could have gotten anywhere from $100-150K for the ball. Instead, he made a horrible decision and traded it for some verbal “thank you’s” from the team, as well as an autographed baseball bat from A-Rod. How much is the bat worth? Just $500.00.

To be fair, he might just be a really nice person? Dumb, but nice.

And spare me the whole argument that the fan should give it back to Judge over the integrity of the game or that Judge deserves it, etc. “It’s the right thing to do!” Nonsense. It’s 2022 — have you seen the world these days?

As the baseball owners and players have shown us throughout decades, baseball is as much of a passion as it is a business for them. It wasn’t too long ago — like literally how about as recently as THIS SEASON — that MLB was in a lockout over money and spring training was delayed.

Therefore, why should a fan not be able to make a business deal in return?

Also, keep in mind that the Yankees host the Boston Red Sox this weekend in the Bronx. Imagine what happens if a Red Sox fan catches the record breaking-ball in the bleachers? Especially if he’s an arrogant, A-hole?

Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge is chasing rarified air. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Notorious “ball hawk,” Zach Hample – who claims to have retrieved over 12,000 MLB baseballs — said that he would return the baseball to Judge if he ended up catching it. Hample would just want to meet the players and maybe exchange it for some other signed memorabilia. He said he believes that the ball should be with its rightful owner – the player who hit it.

Good news for those in attendance in the Short Porch though, as Hample isn’t sure if he’ll be in attendance for the Yankees games this week, citing previous obligations.


The bottom line is — whether I’m a diehard Yankees fan or rooting for the opponent — I’m not doing the morally right thing and giving back the 62nd home run ball for nothing. Absolutely not.

It’s not me being greedy.

It’s the equivalent of winning the lottery. I’m not going to just get a winning lotto ticket and hand it to someone on the street.

So for the lucky fan that does catch that ball: do the right thing and hand it back to Judge. But don’t be afraid to channel your inner Jerry McGuire… at least a little bit.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

One Comment

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  1. Roger Maris played baseball in an era when it was a game.. now its big business. If the sponsors are gonna pay extra for Judge to break the record, then it’ll happen. If they wanna continue the suspense for another year, that’ll happen…

    Judge will make more in a weekend than Maris made all season – think about that for a minute. and after you do ask yourself this: Why they hell didn’t Judge break the record before the all-star game?

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