Hectic moment Yankees fans scramble to capture Aaron Judge’s historic 60th home run

Aaron Judge's ninth-inning longball not only moved him into within one home run of Roger Maris' Yankees and American League records, but also helped propel New York to a 9-8 comeback win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates


Sure, hitting 60 homers in a single season is tough, but try wrestling that historic ball from of a scrum of fortune-seeking Yankees fans.

Mike Kessler, a 20-year-old City College of New York student, experienced exactly that on Tuesday in the Bronx, somehow extracting Aaron Judge’s 60th home run of the year from a throng of spectators in the Yankee Stadium bleachers.

Judge’s ninth-inning longball not only moved him into within one home run of Roger Maris’ Yankees and American League records, but also helped propel New York to a 9-8 comeback win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Teammate Giancarlo Stanton ultimately won the game with a walk-off grand slam later in the frame.

But as much as Judge accomplished Tuesday night and throughout his historic 2022 campaign, it was Kessler who came away with a sense of victory.

‘It bounced off someone’s hand,’ Kessler told The New York Post. ‘I reached and grabbed it and just bear-hugged it. I just smothered it. It got off to the side. It was a mad pile.’

Aaron Judge's ninth-inning longball not only moved him into within one home run of Roger Maris' Yankees and American League records, but also helped propel New York to a 9-8 comeback win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates New York Yankees Aaron Judge runs the bases after hitting his 60th home run of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 9th inning at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Tuesday

Aaron Judge’s ninth-inning longball not only moved him into within one home run of Roger Maris’ Yankees and American League records, but also helped propel New York to a 9-8 comeback win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Teammate Giancarlo Stanton ultimately won the game with a walk-off grand slam later in the frame

Throngs of Yankees fans are seen piling on top of each other for Aaron Judge's 60th home run

Throngs of Yankees fans are seen piling on top of each other for Aaron Judge’s 60th home run

Michael Kessler was the fan who caught Aaron Judges historic 60th home run ball and returned it to Judge and the team

Michael Kessler was the fan who caught Aaron Judges historic 60th home run ball and returned it to Judge and the team

Kessler and his friends received autographed balls and bats in exchange for the home run

Kessler and his friends received autographed balls and bats in exchange for the home run

Kessler was attending the game with his teammates on the CCNY baseball team when Judge’s ninth-inning homer landed in their approximate location in the left-centerfield bleachers. A pile-on quickly ensued, but when it was over, it was Kessler who had the ball.

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‘I’m sure it hasn’t processed yet,’ Kessler told The Post. ‘I can’t put it into words just yet.’

Kessler & Co. didn’t keep the ball, however, instead offering it back to Judge and effectively walking away from a potential six-figure payday in the scorching hot sports collectible market. In exchange for their kindness, Kessler and his friends received signed balls and bats from Judge and the Yankees.

‘I just wanted to give back to the success story anyway I could. Give back to Judge for all he’s done for the organization, do my part,’ Kessler told Action Network HQ.

The crowd cheers after New York Yankees Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run of the season

The crowd cheers after New York Yankees Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run of the season

Yankee Roger Maris (left) meets young fan who caught

Yankee Roger Maris (left) meets young fan who caught ‘the ball’ Maria hit for his 61st homer of the season October 1st, to surpass the all-time hight of Babe Ruth and place a new record in the books for slugger of the future to shoot at. The fan, Sal Durante, 19, of 1418 Neptune Avenue, Coney Island, NY, told reporters that he will give the historic ball to Maris even fi it turns out there is no reward for it. He said ‘I’ll give it to him for nothing’. Durante caught the 360 foot drive while sitting with his girlfriend, Rose Marie Calabrese, in the right-field stands at Yankee Stadium

Brooklyn's Sal Durante catches Roger Maris' record 61st home run at Yankee Stadium in 1961

Brooklyn’s Sal Durante catches Roger Maris’ record 61st home run at Yankee Stadium in 1961

Sal Durante holds the ball hit by Roger Maris for his 61st home run during the 1961 season prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox on September 24, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx

Sal Durante holds the ball hit by Roger Maris for his 61st home run during the 1961 season prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox on September 24, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx

Sal Durante, who famously caught Maris’ record 61st home run in 1961, similarly tried to return the ball to Maris, but was told by the slugger to keep it.

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‘Keep it, kid,’ Maris told Durante, as the Brooklynite told the New York Post. ‘Put it up for auction. Somebody will pay you a lot of money for the ball.’

Durante still has the ball, which broke Babe Ruth’s record set in 1927.

The Major League record, officially, remains Barry Bonds’ 73 home runs in 2001. After that, Mark McGwire ranks second and fourth on the all-time list (70 homers in 1998, 65 in 1999), while Sammy Sosa holds the third, fifth and sixth spots in the record books (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, and 63 in 1999).

However, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa have all been linked to steroids through various media reports, calling into question the legitimacy of their records.

Judge, Maris, and Ruth remain free of any such allegations.

Babe Ruth, New York Yankees outfielder, is presented with a crown for his new home run record of 60 by Yankee manager Miller Huggins, center, shortly after the end of the 1927 season, as the chauffeur, right, looks on

Babe Ruth, New York Yankees outfielder, is presented with a crown for his new home run record of 60 by Yankee manager Miller Huggins, center, shortly after the end of the 1927 season, as the chauffeur, right, looks on



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