Last week, we were treated to a heartwarming story — thanks to our colleagues at 670 The Score in Chicago — about a fan who was the lucky recipient of Roquan Smith's pick-six football after the linebacker tossed it in the stands. After Smith said in the press conference that he wished he would have held on to it, seeing as it was his first interception returned for a touchdown in his career, the fan insisted on giving the ball back and everyone lived happily ever after.
A week later, a fan who caught another memorable ball — Salvador Perez's 46th home run of the year, giving him the single-season record for most home runs hit by a primary catcher — took another approach. Perez told us all about it on the most recent episode of "The Chris Rose Rotation," available on Audacy.
"...After the game, that's when people come in to me and talk to me. 'Hey, did you see what happened? The fan didn't want to give the ball back.' And they asked for, I think, $10,000," Perez said. "Some fan said, 'Salvy, he just signed a contract, he's getting paid, I know that ball's gonna cost almost $10,000...'"
It was a Cleveland fan who was responsible for this behavior, and though I'm not saying one way to go about catching a ball in the stands is the right way and the other is the wrong way, this method certainly rubbed Perez's teammates on the Royals the wrong way. Whit Merrifield joined Audacy affiliate 610 Sports in Kansas City and shared the team's thoughts on the matter.
Because the ball wasn't authenticated by Major League Baseball — and that's because they weren't able to collect it from the fan — it apparently became "just another baseball," and Perez realized this (h/t Heidi Schmidt of Fox 4 KC).
"That ball's not gonna [be worth] anything anymore after you get out and leave and go home, so... I don't know," Perez told Rose. "I don't know what he was thinking, I don't know if he thinks he's gonna get rich for having that ball. I don't know.
"...It's something that I want to keep, something that I want to frame. Put it on my wall, put it in my house, and remember it forever. But — it was kind of sad for me that I didn't get that ball, but it's okay."
What we do know is that it was an incredible moment that should be remembered with as many pieces of authentic memorabilia as possible, and we have Salvy's jersey and mask at the Baseball Hall of Fame to ensure that this is the case.