Aaron Judge’s 62-homer season for the Yankees helped him secure the most important contract awarded to a player on this off-season, however the baseball from that last home run was somewhat of a disappointment at auction.
Caught by a spectator at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 4, the ball was predicted by Goldin Auctions to set a record by selling for greater than $3 million. As a substitute, it sold for $1.5 million to an anonymous bidder who was described in an announcement by the auction house on Sunday as a “outstanding Midwestern businessman and collector.”
In an announcement released by Goldin, Cory Youmans, the vendor of the ball, repeatedly referred to the customer as “Joe.”
Because of this of the sale price coming in lower than expected, the record for a game-used ball at public auction will proceed to be the $3,005,000 fetched by the ball from Mark McGwire’s record-setting seventieth home run within the 1998 season.
That sale got here shortly before the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs became public knowledge. McGwire later admitted to using steroids. Fallout from connections to performance-enhancing drugs cost Barry Bonds a likelihood to eclipse McGwire’s auction record despite surpassing McGwire’s single-season record by hitting 73 home runs in 2001 and Hank Aaron’s profession record of 755. Bonds’s 73rd home run ball initially sold for $450,000, and his 756th home run ball went for $752,467. (No. 756 was eventually donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame after the clothier Marc Ecko had branded it with an asterisk.)
Judge, who has never been connected to performance-enhancing drugs, was praised by many, including Roger Maris’s family, for breaking the American League single-season record without controversy.
“The incontrovertible fact that that is the second-highest total ever paid for a baseball speaks to the respect that fans and collectors have for Aaron,” Ken Goldin, the founding father of Goldin Auctions, said in an announcement. “That’s the magic of sports — this ball didn’t only change Aaron’s life, it modified the lifetime of the fan who was within the stadium that night, too.”
While the sale price was an enormous payday for Youmans, it yielded far lower than people around him had suggested it would.
In an interview with ESPN that was posted on Nov. 17, Dave Baron, a lawyer for Youmans, said, “We’ve already had a proposal for $3 million.” That was after J.P. Cohen, the president of Memory Lane, a dealer of collectibles, told The Associated Press in October that he had offered Youmans $2 million for the ball, describing the offer as “way above fair.”
The keenness for Judge, combined with statements like that, led to sky-high expectations from the auction house.
“The ball has the potential to change into the highest-priced baseball ever sold,” Goldin said in a telephone interview with The Recent York Times shortly before the auction went survive the corporate’s website. “Three million plus could be my estimate.”
As a substitute, Youmans, who’s a financial adviser for Fisher Investments in Dallas, got half of that on the auction, which had six recorded bids, the ultimate of which was for $1.25 million. Combined with a $250,000 buyer’s premium, that resulted in the ultimate price. Youmans didn’t comment on the sale price in his statement.
“As this chapter involves an end and I reflect on catching home run ball No. 62, I’ll all the time remember the kindness of the fans around me on that exciting night in Arlington,” he said. “It was the epitome of how sports brings humans together, and I’ll cherish that memory perpetually.”