You Caught A Historic Home Run Ball. Now Lawyer Up.

October 4, 2022 – Media Mention

Co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law GroupIrwin Kishner, spoke to Law360 about the legal questions that may arise for fans who catch one of New York Yankee Aaron Judge's record-breaking home run balls.

The article discusses the potential significant financial gain for someone who secures the ball noting that one memorabilia dealer has already offered $200,000 in cash for Judge's 61st home run ball and $250,000 for the home run ball that winds up as Judge's final blast of the regular season. "The final price could climb even higher, and with that hefty price tag will come a slew of legal issues relating to the ownership, authentication, sale and protection of the ball by whoever catches it." 

Irwin explained that "any fan lucky enough to come away with a historically significant home run ball should strongly consider hiring an attorney as they decide how to proceed." "The more there is interest in a ball, the higher the price will go. There is a lot of money at stake here... You would be very, very smart to retain counsel that has versatility and knowledge in these areas."

The article further highlighted the legal issue of authenticating and establishing possession of a ball for potential sale and discussed how advances in technology have improved this process. "I would be very clear in establishing my possession of that ball and I would be showing it to the entire stadium and doing whatever it takes," Irwin noted. "The technology today is far better, what they can see from every particular vantage point." Moreover, "[a]ssuming the ball is properly authenticated, fans without experience in selling costly merchandise would do well to hire counsel to navigate thorny issues relating to auction house or commission fees and transfer of title."

Read the full article in Law360 here. Access may require a subscription.