DALLAS — The ball New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, for his American League-record 62nd home run has sold for $1.5 million at auction.
The price is the second highest paid for a baseball auction, according to Goldin Executive Chairman and Founder Ken Goldin. He identified the buyer as a prominent Midwestern businessman and collector.
Bidding on the ball opened on Nov. 29 and ended Saturday. The minimum opening bid was set at $1 million.
The home run ball was consigned to Goldin in November by Dallas man Cory Youmans. He was sitting in the front row of section 31 in left field at Globe Life Field on Oct. 4 when Judge led off the second game of a doubleheader between the Yankees and Rangers and connected. Youmans snared the drive on the fly with his glove.
“That’s the magic of sports — this ball didn’t only change Aaron’s life, it changed the life of the fan who was in the stadium that night, too,” Goldin said in a statement. "We’re so proud to have been trusted by Cory to present this piece of history for public auction.”
Youmans identified the buyer only by his first name.
“Congratulations to Joe! Given the historical significance of #62, it was important to me that the selling process was fair, accessible and transparent,” Youmans said in a statement. “Joe seems like a great man and the perfect steward for this special piece of MLB history."
Roger Maris, a former Yankee, set the old record of 61 in 1961.
The highest price paid at auction for a baseball is $3 million. It was for one hit by Mark McGwire on Sept. 27, 1998, to reach 70 for the season. Comic book creator and artist Todd McFarlane bought the ball.
Youmans' attorney, David Baron, told WFAA in November that they previously turned down a private sale of $3 million for the ball.
Youmans told The Action Network's Darren Rovell that he wasn't comfortable doing a private sale and decided to take the ball to auction.
"While a private sale is certainly appealing, and there’s nothing wrong with $3 million, people may not appreciate that this is not Hal Steinbrenner calling and say, 'Hey, I’ll write you a check for $3 million' or Aaron Judge saying, 'I’ll write you a check,'” Youmans told The Action Network. "This comes through art dealers and law firms and there’s not a lot of transparency. And I have concerns about selling the ball that way."
After completing one of the greatest seasons and winning the AL MVP, Judge agreed to a nine-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees.
Judge said in a conference call before the auction that he was not going to bid on the ball.
“He caught the ball, he’s the one that made the play out there in left field, so it’s his right to do what he wants with it," Judge said of Youmans. "Hopefully he’s making the right decision for him and his family.”