Cardinals: Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball once sold for $3 million
In light of recent history home run chases from Albert Pujols and Aaron Judge, Mark McGwire’s historic 70th home run ball in 1998 once sold for $3 million
The St. Louis Cardinals are not strangers to epic home run chases. As Albert Pujols went for 700 career home runs this season and Aaron Judge chased Roger Maris’ home run record in the American League, much talk has went toward how much the lucky fans would receive for catching those historic home run balls.
Back in 1998 in the height of the steroid era, Mark McGwire was chasing 70 home runs during one of the most exciting stretches of baseball. McGwire hit home runs number 69 and 70 on September 27th, and the 70th home run was caught by fan Phil Ozersky.
The Cardinals offered Ozersky a signed bat, ball, and jersey for the baseball. Ozersky asked to be able to meet McGwire too in this exchange, but the slugger said no. Ozersky decided to keep the baseball instead, and the decision paid off big time.
Despite the rather low offer from the Cardinals’ organization to Ozersky, the fan was able to turn around and sell the ball three months later for $3 million to Todd McFarlane, which at the time was the highest sale price ever for sports memorabilia.
It makes you wonder how much the fan in Los Angeles who caught Pujols 700th home run ball could get eventually for it. McGwire’s ball has dropped significantly in value over the years, due to Bonds passing him and the discover of steroid usage. But Pujols achieved the historic 700 number without the use of PEDs, although some in the media have tried to accuse him of such.
Whatever that number ends up being, it is crazy to think just how much value a fan can get from catching one of these historic home runs. It’s like purchasing a Wonka Bar and having that elusive golden ticket. Any price for a ticket to a game where you could catch one of these balls is worth it, not only to witness history, but for potentially life changing wealth.