After mulling his options with his wife and attorney, the man who caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball has decided to let the market decide what it’s worth.
Cory Youmans, a financial consultant from the Dallas area, was in the right place at the right time when Judge’s homer sailed into the seats at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX on Oct. 4.
He made a clean catch of the ball that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single season record, and was quickly surrounded by stadium security who escorted him to a secure area to have the ball approved by MLB Authentication.
Once the silver holographic sticker was applied and the information entered into the MLB database, Youmans knew he had landed a valuable piece of baseball history. He’s putting it up for sale through Goldin Auctions, which believes it could break the record for the most expensive home run ball ever sold at more than $3 million.
Youmans’ attorney has said his client has already turned down a straight sale price for that amount.
The opening bid will be $1 million when it arrives in Goldin’s December Elite Auction, which opens Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 17.
The 35-year-old Youmans has kept the ball locked away in a safety deposit box. After he selected Goldin from what’s described as “a long list of high-profile auction houses and marketplaces” to handle the sale, company founder Ken Goldin dispatched an armed, professional security team to retrieve the ball and transport it to a secure location.
“Home run balls have a unique place in the collectible industry for a few reasons,” said Goldin. “Unlike bats or jerseys which players and teams technically own, a home run ball is the immediate property of whatever fan catches it. In this case, this particular ball was basically a winning Powerball ticket.”
For a few weeks, Youmans’ attorney Dave Baron, fielded offers and options for Youmans and his wife, sports reporter Bri Amaranthus, before opting to go the auction route.
“It seems fair in the sense it gives anyone that is interested and has the means the opportunity to own it,” Youmans told ESPN. “As a fan, I’m curious to see what it’s worth, who buys it and what they do with it.”
Goldin says he’s confident that will prove that to be a wise move.
“Aaron Judge is an absolutely monumental and beloved figure in New York and across sports and this will almost certainly be the highest price paid for any baseball ever.”
The current record for the most expensive home run ball ever sold was the $3.1 million that comic book artist and collector Todd McFarlane spent on Mark McGwire’s 70th in 1998 (about $5.6 million today). Not long afterward, an investigation into performance enhancing drugs put a damper on the eye-popping numbers that had enveloped baseball in the late 90s.
Youmans told ESPN he hoped to loan the ball to the Yankees for display during the playoffs “but unfortunately it didn’t materialize.”
Earlier this month, Goldin sold Albert Pujols’ 700th career home run ball for $360,000. That ball, one of two hit by Pujols on the night of Sept. 23 at Dodger Stadium, was snared by Marlowe Leal, who also to put it up for bids.