Aaron Judge’s 62nd HR ball seller ‘at peace with the process’ after missing out on $1.5m at auction

The fan who caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball, Cory Youmans, has claimed he is ‘at peace’ with pocketing just $1.5 million for the piece of MLB history at auction after rejecting an offer of $3m.

Youmans, a 35-year-old from Dallas, Texas scrambled to catch Judge’s home run ball against the Texas Rangers on October 4.

However, despite having a reported $3m offer on the table, he opted to sell the ball with the Goldin Auctions house ‘after weeks of a lot of deep conversations’ with his wife and lawyer, but it ended on December 17 with a final bid of just $1.25m – with fees taking it up to exactly half of what he could previously have earned.

Cory Youmans, who caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball, is ‘at peace’ with his sale

Yankees star Aaron Judge's historic 62nd home run ball was sold at an online auction on December 17

It fetched a disappointing $1.5m, just half of what had previously been offered for the ball

The historic 62nd home run ball sold at an online auction for just $1.5 million this month

But Youmans, a cancer survivor, does not begrudge his decision to overplay his hand as he has insisted he is ‘at peace with the process,’ after deciding it was the fairest and most transparent.

‘There is no playbook,’ Youmans told Sports Illustrated. ‘I spent a tremendous amount of time researching what people in the past have done. I’ve read all of their stories and studied the outcomes. I thought it would also make sense to keep an open mind and see what all of the options were. We thought we would try to identify the best private offer, and the best auction house.

‘The offers are more challenging to sort through than people realize.’

Youmans made the decision to go to auction with the ball ‘after weeks of a lot of deep conversations’ with his wife, sports reporter and Bachelor alum Bri Amaranthus, and his lawyer, Dave Baron.

The auction began with an opening bid of $1m on November 29 and quickly rose to $1.15m in the first few days, but then did not receive another bid until December 7, when it attracted $1.2m.

With less than half an hour remaining on the auction, a bidder added $50,000 to the price, but the regular auction ended at just $1.25m.

The ball fetched just $1.5m with buyer's premium after Youmans had rejected a $3m offer

The ball fetched just $1.5m with buyer’s premium after Youmans had rejected a $3m offer

Youmans is married to Dallas sports reporter and Bachelor Nation alum Bri Amaranthus (right)

Youmans is married to Dallas sports reporter and Bachelor Nation alum Bri Amaranthus (right)

The 35-year-old revealed that he went to auction after discussions with his wife and lawyer

The 35-year-old revealed that he went to auction after discussions with his wife and lawyer

Amaranthus covers the Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys for Sports Illustrated

Amaranthus covers the Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys for Sports Illustrated

From there, previous bidders were given an extra 30 minutes to raise their offers, but nobody opted to do so and the auction ended with an underwhelming result.

‘It was a legitimate offer, but without a lot of transparency,’ Youmans explained of the $3m. ‘I was just uncomfortable selling the ball behind closed doors. So we went with the safe, open, fair route at auction.’

He claimed that people would not have been pleased no matter which route he had opted for and insisted he still felt lucky to have caught the coveted prize.

‘No matter what I did, not everyone would agree that it was the right strategy,’ Youmans added. ‘If I gave it back I was stupid, and if I sold it I was greedy. I’m a private person who essentially won the lottery live on national TV. So, to say the least, it’s been an interesting experience.

‘But at the end of the day, I feel lucky to have been in the stadium that night and lucky to have caught the ball.’

Judge, who was named American League MVP after his historic season, finally hit his 62nd home run against the Rangers, surpassing Roger Maris’s AL record with just one game to go of the regular season.

‘I was there to see Aaron Judge,’ said Youmans, who sat beside his friend in Section 31, Row 1, Seat 12. ‘I was naive to what might happen to someone if they caught the ball. Sure, I had hoped to, like everyone else. But how can you predict that you are actually the one to catch it?’

Judge broke the single-season AL home run record on October 4 with his 62nd of 2022

Youmans insisted he had gone to the game in Arlington to witness the star slugger in action

Youmans insisted he had gone to the game in Arlington to witness the star slugger in action

Immediately after catching the ball, Youmans was ushered out of the stands and escorted away by security. While walking, he was asked what he intended to do with the ball, to which he responded: ‘Good question, I haven’t thought about it.’

‘Had I known then what I know now, I would have reacted differently,’ he reflected. ‘But at the time, ignorance was bliss.’

Youmans revealed in November that on his drive home from the stadium that he received a text from Amaranthus asking if he was near their apartment because someone had shared their address on social media.

Youmans and Amaranthus decided to pack their dog in the car and spend a few days at a friend’s house to avoid any potential issues.

‘That first week was pretty chaotic,’ he said. ‘Catching that ball was so random… it’s not like we could plan for something like that. Before we could think about what to do with the ball, there were real-life logistics to figure out. ‘

It had been reported on the night that Youmans was a millionaire banker but he dispelled this theory, telling ESPN: ‘We are not millionaires, and we enjoy the $3 red blend from Trader Joe’s as much as anything.’

He said he and Amaranthus have been saving to buy their first house, and Youmans hopes to build a shop for his grandfather, a retired welder who works on classic cars, recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary and had been planning to move.

He added that he moved in with his grandparents at 13, he said, and his grandfather delayed retirement to send him to private school, following which Youmans became the first college graduate in his family.

After being diagnosed with melanoma earlier this year, Youmans said he and Amaranthus refocused their priorities, vowing to travel the world.

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