Albert Pujols‘ 2,000th RBI came on a solo homer into the Comerica Park bleachers. The fan who caught it, a 33-year-old law student and father-to-be named Ely Hydes, left the park with it. He didn’t get it authenticated and he didn’t accept any of the Tigers’ officials’ offers of swag in exchange.
It was a decision that led to a lot of people online wondering what was wrong with him. How do you not get an autographed baseball, a jersey and a meet-and-greet from Albert Pujols?! How do you not know that the ball will be worth something on memorabilia market one day and think about cashing in?
As this story from Tony Paul of the Detroit News makes clear, however, Hydes isn’t really operating on that level. And it’s rather refreshing to hear:
“I don’t want money,” he told The News. “I don’t care . . . don’t care about the money. It’s an heirloom.”
It’s worth noting, also, that according to Hydes, the Tigers officials who came to him to try to barter for the ball were giving him the hard sell and being somewhat jerky about it.
For what it’s worth, Pujols — who I’m sure has more than his fair share of memorabilia from his illustrious career — was equally zen about the whole thing:
“He can keep it. It’s a great memory for him. I mean we play this game for the fans, and it’s a piece of history that he’s going to have for the rest of his life.”
If the guy who hit it is cool with it and the guy who caught it is cool with it, I think that’s the end of the story.