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Aaron Judge was able to connect on his 60th home run of the season Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the milestone ball was recovered by a New York college baseball player.
Judge’s home run helped sparked a ninth-inning comeback, capped off by a Giancarlo Stanton walk-off home run. The New York Yankees won the game 9-8.
Michael Kessler was identified as the man who secured Judge’s home run on a bounce. According to MLB.com, Kessler plays college baseball for City College of New York.
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge watches his 60th home run of the season, during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)
Kessler is a business administration and management major from Port Chester, N.Y. He told the outlet he did not need to make a tough business decision in order to get Judge his baseball back.
“Judge means so much to the organization, especially this year. He’s just unbelievable. Just the way he is, he deserved to have the ball back. I have no second thoughts,” he said.
The 20-year-old college student agreed to give the ball back to the Yankees in exchange for a meet-and-greet with Judge, four autographed baseball and a separate signed baseball bat.
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge runs toward first after hitting his 60th home run of the season, during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)
He did have one separate request, though, when he and his friends went over to meet Judge.
“Yeah, my roommate was like, ‘Please re-sign,’” he said. “It really means a lot to me to give it back to him.”
Aaron Judge, #99 of the New York Yankees, reacts in the dugout after hitting his 60th home run of the season in the ninth inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022 in New York, New York. (Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Judge is the first player to hit 60 home runs since Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa crossed the threshold in 2001. Bonds would set the single-season record with 73 homers. Judge is the first American League player to hit 60 home runs since Roger Maris did it in 1961 with 61.
Ryan Gaydos is the sports editor for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to [email protected]