As he walked through a hall in the outfield of Globe Life Field, dancing with fans and surrounded by a sea of cameras, it was almost as if Cory Youmans had hit a massive home run. Instead, he hit the jackpot.
Youmans made the catch of his life on Tuesday night, catching the ball thrown by New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for his 62nd home run, American League record.
The historic memory came navigating the front row of Section 31 in left field, a jab from the judge to lead Game 2 of a day-night doubleheader against the Texas Rangers. Youmans caught it on the fly.
Youmans, who is from Dallas, works in finance. Ken Goldin, Executive Chairman of Goldin Auctions, told the New York Times he thinks the judge’s home run ball would fetch between $750,000 and $1.25 million if it went up for sale. However JP Cohen, president of the Memory Lane memorabilia site, said he would pay $2 million for the ball and loan it out for display at Yankee Stadium. Wednesday, he said the offer is still on the table.
“I think the offer is well above fair value, if he’s inclined to sell it,” Cohen said in a phone interview with the AP.
The most expensive home baseball ever went for $3 million, including commission, in 1999. It was the ball that Mark McGwire hit for his then-record 70th home run in 1998.
With security personnel around him as he took the ball to be authenticated, Youmans was asked what he plans to do with the prize.
“Good question. I didn’t think of that,” he said.
After the Yankees lost 3-2, Judge said he was out of possession of the home run ball.
“I don’t know where it is,” he said. “We’ll see what happens with that. It would be nice to get it back, but it’s a keepsake for a fan. He made a great catch there, and they’re perfectly entitled to it.
Shortly after a local TV station published a brief interview with Youmans in an alley, Bri Amaranthus tweeted, “THIS IS MY HUSBAND.” Amaranthus is a reporter who covers the Dallas Cowboys and previously appeared on The Bachelor.
Youmans was among the crowd of 38,832, the largest to watch a baseball game at Globe Life Field in its three-year history.
Many fans at Rangers Stadium came dressed in Yankees caps and jerseys. Some came to see Judge go down in history. Some came just for the story. Some have come a long way.
The final two categories included Jimmy Bennicaso of Norwalk, Connecticut, who is a fan of the Yankees’ long distance rivals. “I’m a Met fan, actually,” Bennicaso said. “Cowboy and Met fade a tough combo.”
Bennicaso was at home in Connecticut on Monday night after watching Judge fail in the first of four games against the Rangers in three days. He pitched an idea to his girlfriend and what if he went to Texas to witness Judge’s chase in person?
“She said, ‘Yeah, go ahead,'” he said.
Bennicaso took an early flight to Texas. Being independent in property investments has helped, he said. Bennicaso took up position on the lower deck of the right-field stands hoping to grab an opposite-field homer.
Instead, Judge hit a home run that broke the AL record set by Roger Maris in 1961. Empty-handed, Bennicaso planned to return home Wednesday morning.
“It was worth it,” he said. “I gave my best shot.”