Catching Sheffield's 500 Home Run Ball

A historic moment in sports took place on Friday – did you catch it? One fan caught the historic moment quite literally – 22 year-old Mets fan Chris Matcovich caught Gary Sheffield’s 500th career home run.

And then he did the unthinkable – he gave it back to Sheffield in exchange for some signed jerseys and a photo with the surly slugger. How many collectors would have done that?

“I wanted nothing but to just give it back to Gary,” Matcovich told reporters. “It was his ball, not mine.”

In the stands, where anything goes, that’s quite the statement in a “what can I get for it?” world.

Sheffield still didn’t know what artifacts he wanted to donate to the HOF after the feat, though I’d guess he’s going to keep the ball for himself in a personal museum.

Now if that had been me in the standx, I would have asked the world from Sheffield, like perhaps some signed David Wright jerseys or something. Nah, I’m just kidding. I’m not the type to hoard something for myself just for the almighty dollar. Anyone who enjoys a journalism career knows that’s not where the money is, so you can see where our priorities are. And since I’m not a big Sheffield fan in particular, it wouldn’t have done much for me (I did like the hands in the air routine like he just hit a walk-off homer in the World Series).

Heck, I’d be happy to just catch a ball in the stands. The closest I got to catching a home run ball was during batting practice and I had to put down my burger first and reach over a railing – to no avail, it bounced off my palm. So I can appreciate those who nab one in the stands, and I appreciate Matcovich’s gesture even more.    

One thought on “Catching Sheffield's 500 Home Run Ball

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