The Philadelphia Phillies were accused of playing hardball with the Miami girl who latched onto Ryan Howard’s record-breaking home run ball.
As we’ve been reporting, Major League teams seem to be getting a little more uptight about fans keeping game-used balls and other items that wind up in the seats.
What was once a given has come into question because of the value some collectors are willing to pay for important artifacts. Teams try to use their in-game authenticators, many of whom are current or former cops, to convince fans that it would be in their best interest to give up the items.
A Miami girl’s family says that’s what they tried to do to her with Ryan Howard’s 200th home run ball this summer. Jennifer Valdiva has the ball back now, after a Miami TV reporter put her in touch with an attorney who filed a lawsuit. The ball wasn’t just #200 for Howard, it was the one that made him the fastest ever to reach the milestone.
A personal meeting with Howard might have prevented the whole mess, but it didn’t happen and the story grew legs.
It’s not the most valuable home run ball of all-time, but it could be worth more if Howard winds up challenging some more records before his career is over. Every media outlet in south Florida covered the story. NPR asked some tough questions of the attorney and Yahoo Sports chronicles the whole affair.