What's a first career HR ball really worth?

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You’ve probably recently read about the fan who caught the first home run ball hit by Florida Marlins rookie Chris Coghlan who, according to some, held the ball “for ransom” wanting memorabilia in return.

These types of trades are pretty common — when a ball isn’t headed to the auction block — but the ransom claim? Well, that’s different.

But have you heard the fan’s side of the story? Read his lengthy recap of the situation here.

The fan asked for a signed ball and a bat from the rookie and a Hanley Ramirez game bat.

One would think that, to a player, that ball would mean plenty — if he wanted it at all — and consider that, according to Louisville Slugger (which makes plenty of bats each year) baseball players will typically use about 100 bats during a season.

Bats aren’t exactly the rarest piece of memorabilia out there.

Did the fan demand too much? Perhaps from a “market value” standpoint (or whatever Ramirez and/or his agent wants per bat), but it’s still an important item to Coghlan.

I’m sure some will criticize the fan, whose blog recaps his hobby (or perhaps it’s a art or science at this point) of snagging baseballs at ballparks, but consider that MLB authenticates and sells/auctions those same baseballs. (This guy is one of those crazy and dedicated collector types — you probably know at least one … right?)

After reading the player’s reaction — how Coghlan reportedly treated a fan — I’m not sure I’d want anything to do with his memorabilia.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.


  1. President McCain
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Wow, good job keeping up. That blog is weeks old.

  2. chrisolds
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t matter. The discussion points remain valid.

  3. Posted June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    glad you blogged you about this chris! that was a great article that ‘Happy’ wrote about the whole ordeal he went through. Unbelievable the first thing Coglan said to him after finally going to see what was going on after the game was “You gonna give me my ball or what?”

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