Roundtable: What would you do if you caught Pujols’ HR ball? 

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St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jose Quintana (62) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, MLB icon Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals capped off his incredible career by hitting his 700th home run, which puts him in the top four all time. As the ball sailed over the fence and into the crowd, its value skyrocketed. All of a sudden, that ball went from being almost worthless to potentially netting a fan six figures. The fan who caught it decided to keep the ball though, forgoing his prize. This brings us to our question: What would you do if you caught the ball? The Sports section discusses: 

Stratton Stave 
Associate Sports Editor 
he/him/his 
stratton.stave@uconn.edu 

Negotiate 

The best strategy here is to use the ball as a tool to get what you want. As valuable as the ball would be to the Cardinals, I’d go right to the MLB. Since I live on the East Coast, lifetime tickets to Cardinals games wouldn’t be particularly valuable, but I could make a trade by going to the MLB. Maybe I could get season tickets for my family to see a more local team. For instance, Yankees season tickets start at around $2,000, meaning that for my family of four, it would cost around $8,000 worth of tickets each year. With the ball going for six figures, we’d be able to buy decades of season tickets for the four of us. If I was the MLB, that’s a deal I would gladly take. On top of the tickets, I’d also request unlimited gear and a minor stake in the Red Sox. It seems like a lot, but it’s actually a good deal for the league given the asking price for the ball.  

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rich Hill (44) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning at Fenway Park. Photo by Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

Evan Rodriguez 
Staff Writer 
He/Him/His 
evan.2.rodriguez@uconn.edu 

Sell the ball 

Tell them to bring me my money! While I respect Pujols and acknowledge this ball as a piece of baseball history, I also acknowledge that it is worth serious amounts of money. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I let that baseball collect dust when I could be making major money. If I were to sell the baseball to the highest bidder, I know that my life would change forever and I could even afford to get season tickets for the next MLB season. I could even use the money to purchase World Series tickets and watch the event from the best seat in the house — an experience that any baseball fan would surely want. Is the baseball an amazing relic of the history of the game? Sure, but the memories I could create for myself with the money from it would be even better. 

Ava Inesta 
Campus Correspondent  
She/Her/Hers 
ava.inesta@uconn.edu 

Return the ball to Pujols 

Being the person that caught Pujols’ 700th home run ball would already give me bragging rights in itself. Like the Yankees fan that caught Aaron Judge’s 60th home run ball, I think it would be best to give it back to the team. As a diehard baseball fan, I cannot think of anyone else that the ball would be more meaningful to than Pujols himself. But, it would be for a price! Personally, I am a huge fan of memorabilia and a big collector of valuable pieces. So, I would love a signed Pujols jersey, bat, or basically anything else baseball related. I would also be starstruck if I got the chance to meet Pujols. Throwing in a little cash wouldn’t hurt either! Getting season tickets from the Cardinals or any MLB organization would give me the opportunity to go to tons of games and also make money off of selling tickets. Absolutely, money is a huge factor. But for me, it’s about the experience and making memories that’ll last a lifetime. 

Cole Stefan 
Staff Writer 
He/Him/His 
cole.stefan@uconn.edu 

Keep the ball 

You guys did not leave me many options, so I’d have to go with the most logical choice. I have a knack for collecting merchandise and souvenirs wherever I go, whether that is to Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden or Citi Field. Pujols’ 700th home run ball is technically a souvenir and I would not have to pay any cents extra to keep it. Although I have a habit of  staying until the game is over, I may have to leave the ballpark immediately or risk being mobbed by angry and loyal baseball fans. Once I safely make it back home, the first thing I would do is place the ball somewhere in my room so that I can show it to my parents, children and/or grandchildren in the future. I would cherish the memories that I collect from this game forever, and I have always wondered what it would be like to hold onto the milestone of a childhood idol and a future Hall of Famer. 

Noah Reed 
Campus Correspondent 
He/Him/His 
noah.reed@uconn.edu 

How I become Scrooge McDuck 

If I got the ball, I want the team. Just kidding, but I would want a boatload of cash and the best way to do that is to take the ball home and find suitable buyers.  Pujols even said himself that he’s not that attached to those material things such as the ball. This ball just adds to the numerous accolades he’s collected in his MLB career, but he doesn’t need it. Yes, it would be awesome to meet Pujols or get a bunch of signatures, but I’m a broke college student. The baseball has been quoted to sell at over $2 million and I can unfortunately say that I don’t have that kind of money right now. I would gladly take that money, convert it into coins and take a dive right into it, probably breaking a bunch of bones in the process. 

Sam Calhoun 
Campus Correspondent 
He/Him/His 
samuel.calhoun@uconn.edu  

Return the ball to Pujols 

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Photo by Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports.

I’ll side with Ava on this. Pujols has earned every single one of his home runs. Even if it means that I don’t get much in return considering how valuable the ball is, I’m not going to try and play hardball. I do expect to get a signed bat and/or jersey in return, but Pujols deserves to have his 700th career home run ball. Like Ava said, catching the ball would be just as impressive as having it. There are so many people that would trample others for that ball, so if I came out alive with it, I think that would be enough to impress me. I admire how the Yankees fan gave Aaron Judge his 60th home run ball earlier this year, so I think I would handle that situation just like he did, even if that means losing out on profit. 

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