Auction house offers $2M to fan who caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run

ARLINGTON, Texas — The owner of a California-based sports memorabilia auction house has offered $2 million to the fan who caught Aaron Judge’s American League record-breaking 62nd home run on Tuesday night.

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JP Cohen, president of Memory Lane Inc. in Tustin, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he has texted and emailed Cory Youmans, who caught the ball the New York Yankees slugger hit off Texas Rangers Jesus Tinoco at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. That broke the A.L. record that had stood since 1961, when Roger Maris hit 61 round-trippers.

Cohen said Youmans has not yet replied.

“I feel the offer is way above fair, if he is inclined to sell it,” Cohen told the AP in a telephone interview.

Cohen made the original offer on Sept. 25 in anticipation of a record-setting blast, according to Sports Collectors Daily.

“I’ll immediately pay $2 million for that baseball, and I want to promptly loan it for display at Yankee Stadium for the public to see in person,” he said.

“We did make an offer of $2 million and that offer is still valid,” Cohen told the AP.

Youmans, who is from Dallas, works in the financial world. He was sitting in the first row of the left-field bleachers and caught Judge’s 391-foot blast with a black Mizuno glove, WFAA-TV reported. He was among the crowd of 38,832, the largest to watch a baseball game at the 3-year-old stadium, according to the AP.

When he was asked what he was going to do with the ball, Youmans was noncommittal.

“That’s a good question,” Youmans said as he was hustled past reporters en route to authenticating the baseball. “I haven’t thought about it.”

Judge connected off Tinoco on the third pitch of the game to break the A.L. record, which was set when Maris homered off Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard on Oct. 1, 1961, at New York’s old Yankee Stadium. Maris broke the major league record held by another Yankees star, Babe Ruth, who hit 60 homers in 1927.

Maris originally held the major league record, but that was topped in 1998 when Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs. Barry Bonds surpassed that number with 73 round-trippers in 2001. McGwire and Bonds were both National League players during their record seasons, but Maris had remained the A.L. leader.

The record price for a home run ball is $3 million, paid for Mark McGwire’s record 70th from the 1998 season. The ball was caught by Phil Ozersky, who refused an offer from the St. Louis Cardinals for a signed bat, baseball and jersey in exchange for the ball.

Three months later, Ozersky sold the ball for the record price to Todd McFarlane, Sports Collectors Daily reported.