The fan who caught the first home run ball in the New York Mets’ new home has a valuable piece of baseball memorabilia.
Milestone home run balls are usually associated with players, but over the last six months, the focus has been on lasts and firsts.
The last ones hit out of Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium last year were special, and the first ones belted out of the clubs’ new parks will also have a spot in baseball lore.
Wayne Westerfield, a behind the scenes WPIX-TV morning show employee, grabbed the first Citi Field home run ball earlier this week. He appeared on the show Wednesday with a Steiner Sports representative and, at least for a little while, plans to hang onto it.
The ball was hit by Jody Gerut of the Padres and while many fans would have been tempted to honor the tradition of throwing an opponents’ home run ball back onto the field, Westerfield did the wise thing and hung onto it.
The homer–and the story of the catch–are on MLB.com.