The recording-breaking home run ball hit by Aaron Judge on October 4, 2022, was expected to break another record when it crossed the auction block. Judge hit his 62nd home run during the 2022 season when the Yankees played the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Judge broke the American League record set by Roger Maris 61 years ago.
Cory Youmans, a vice president at an investment firm, was in the right seat to catch the home run ball. Shortly after the star catcher had the ball in his glove, he reportedly received several offers for it, one as much as $3M by an anonymous buyer; Youmans turned down the offer.
Youman’s next move was to figure out what he wanted to do with the most sought-after sports memorabilia item of 2022. He waited until the baseball season was over and contemplated his options. Several private collectors made offers, many major auction houses wanted a shot at selling the baseball, and in the end, Youman decided to give it to Goldin Auctions.
Goldin estimated the ball to sell for more than $3M, hopefully breaking the record price set for a ball hit by Mark McGwire. In January 1999, his 70th Home Run Ball sold for $3M; since then, McGwire admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, so his ball is now said to be worth in the $250 – 400K range – not the best investment.
Unfortunately, Judge’s baseball missed expectations; it only received six bids and sold for $1.25M ($1.5M w/p); I guess you could say it kind of struck out. As they often say — sometimes your first offer (reportedly $3M) is your best offer.
Aaron Judge, the new Yankee captain, did manage to score another record; his new contract with the Yankees will pay him $360M over the next nine years.