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All hail the judge! Yankees slugger Aaron Judge made baseball history on October 4, 2022, when he knocked his 62nd ball out of the park this season. This breaks the tie with Roger Maris for the American League single-season home run record.
Judge’s 61st home run ball was fumbled by fans and eventually ended up in the Blue Jays bullpen. From there, it was picked up by a coach for the Blue Jays and subsequently returned to the Yankees.
Had this ball been caught by a fan, experts estimate that this piece of history could have garnered more than $250,000 at auction.
As you might imagine, Judge’s 62nd ball, which broke Maris’ record, could potentially be sold for millions.
In this article, I’ll take a look at Aaron Judge, then outline how the lucky fan who caught his record-breaking ball could turn this windfall into an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Who is Aaron Judge?
Judge was raised by his adoptive parents in Linden, California, where he developed an early love for athletics.
Growing up, he possessed an impressive frame, which he put to use in three sports (baseball, football and basketball) throughout high school. Eventually, he settled on baseball and went on to play at Fresno State.
In 2013, Judge moved to the minor leagues, where he quickly impressed teammates, major league scouts and his opposing players. In 2016 he joined the Yankees in the big league.
In his first game and his very first professional at-bat, he hit a home run. This was the first of many, which led to him breaking one of the most impressive records in baseball.
Sports memorabilia throughout history
Some people may question why Judge’s home run ball is such a big deal. How can one little baseball possibly be sold for so much money?
Sports memorabilia has always been an important part of sports history, and collectors are willing to pay the big bucks to procure their favorite pieces of said history. Items previously owned or used by Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and others are valued in the millions.
Related: This Baseball Card Just Sold for an Insane Amount of Money
How to turn sports memorabilia into an entrepreneurial pursuit
Some entrepreneurs pursue expensive sports memorabilia because they see it as a way to turn a lot of money into even more money. For example, a collector could sell their valuable sports items to the right buyer and then use that money to pay off their house, invest in stocks or otherwise maximize the value of their earnings.
An entrepreneurially minded sports fan could sell the ball and leverage those earnings into an enormous payday.
Let’s take a look at some entrepreneurial opportunities that could arise for that lucky fan who caught the home run ball.
Throughout history, property has always been equaled to power. If you own property, you are generally in a good position in today’s day and age. You can rent these properties out, sell them to someone else for a profit or keep them as assets, allowing them to grow in value over time.
Those who have invested in property often enjoy significant profits. These individuals allow their money to work for them, instead of chasing after money themselves.
Investing in the stock market
How the stock market is doing is generally a good indicator of how the overall economy is doing. It’s certainly seen better days than it is now, but investing in index funds or other generally reliable stocks can lead to a payday down the road. Use sound investing strategies that will leave you in a good financial position in the long run.
Paying off debt
Throughout our entire lives, we always have to balance our debt-to-income ratio. This value is what many lenders will look at when deciding on whether or not to give us a loan, and it’s also a good overall indicator of how well a person is doing financially.
Although making more money can help to improve this ratio, one of the best ways to improve it is to simply pay off debts. The person who caught Judge’s 62nd homer could likely pay off most — if not all — their debts by selling the ball.
Looking at the world through an entrepreneurial lens
Entrepreneurs always look at the world from a very specific viewpoint. Specifically, entrepreneurs are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing and how they can be involved in it.
By spotting trends early, taking risks and using whatever resources they have, entrepreneurs truly make themselves stand out amongst the masses.
Judge’s 60th and 61st home run balls are a piece of baseball history. The 60th ball was willingly given back to the Yankees by the fan who caught it. The other took an unfortunate bounce and ended up in the Blue Jay’s bullpen, after which it was returned to the Yankees.
Although it’s admirable that these folks decided to give these pieces of memorabilia back to the Yankees (and Judge specifically), there is nothing wrong with treating said home run balls as the potential investment opportunities they represent.
Aaron Judge would probably love to have these balls in his collection, enabling him to reflect on his career and the impact he had on the sport. However, if he doesn’t get them back, he’ll be just fine.
If you catch a significant ball like this, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to give it back. It’s perfectly reasonable for you to keep the ball, cherish it, display it, sell it or do whatever you want with it!
Never feel bad about trying to improve your lot in life by viewing these opportunities through the lens of an entrepreneur. And if you do end up catching one of these balls in question, make sure you keep it safe from anyone trying to nab it from you.