A few days ago, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam off San Francisco Giants pitcher George Kontos, but it wasn’t just any grand slam, it was the 24th time Rodriguez had done it, breaking the Major League record held by all-time Yankees great Lou Gehring.
Clearly, the ball had value – both monetary to fans and sentimental to Rodriguez, who asked New York Yankee security to retrieve the ball.
Some many have opted to keep the ball for themselves, maybe for their own collection or made attempts to sell it, but not the twelve year old who happened to fall on the ball as it bounced around in the stands.
Steven Gieseler Jr. just so happened to come out of the scrum with the ball, which he immediately jammed into his pocket. After encouragement from his Father, Gieseler Jr. displayed the ball proudly, which grabbed the attention of security who was looking for the young boy. He and his father were quickly ushered away to a private room where they met Rodriguez, where the pre-teen handed over the ball in exchange for some signed memorabilia.
Many of the fans in their section were also encouraging him to keep the ball, but he quickly had a change of heart.
In exchange for the ball, Steven Jr. and his father were escorted to the lower level of the stadium after the game. There, Steven Jr. said he caught a glimpse of Manager Joe Girardi before he and his father were brought into a private room, where they met Rodriguez.
“He said, “Hey buddy, nice catch,” but I just stood there in awe,” he said.
Rodriguez then handed him an autographed bat, signed a ball and posed for a couple of photos, he said.
Very cool story and big props to the young boy who decided to give the ball back to A-Rod, who was given a very memorable experience (along with some goods) in exchange.