New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit a home run in the ninth inning of the dramatic 9-8 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Yankee Stadium, a game that included a walk-off grand slam by Giancarlo Stanton.
That long ball was the 60th of his season, putting him just one shy of Roger Maris‘ American League record of 61.
The 60 homers, however, allowed Judge to tie Babe Ruth‘s tally from 1927, so it also has some historical significance and relevance.
Obviously, that’s a very valuable ball, one that could be worth thousands of dollars at some point in the future.
The fan who caught it, however, just wanted an autograph in return, so it was a worthwhile trade for Judge and the Yanks and a classy move by Michael Kessler, a college student.
The Yankees Offered Some Cool Things In Exchange For The Ball
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Kessler told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
“We were standing on top of the bleachers and then went down for his at-bat. We were jumping up and down because I knew it was a home run. It hit the top of the bleachers and then bounced toward our section. I just went to grab it and bear hugged it,” he stated.
Here is a video of the moment:
“A fan had to get through this dogpile for Judge’s 60th HR and only asked for an autograph in return @BRWalkoff (via @HonnyWags),” Bleacher Report tweeted.
A fan had to get through this dogpile for Judge's 60th HR and only asked for an autograph in return 🙌 @BRWalkoff
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 21, 2022
Kessler’s haul for the ball included a clubhouse meet-and-greet with Judge, four autographed baseballs, and a signed game bat (not the one Judge used to hit the homer).
For the team, it’s an easy trade to make.
It’s a win-win for everybody involved, and a moment Kessler will never forget.