Two Aaron Judge milestone home runs down for the 2022 Yankees, one to go, and endless shenanigans already on the books regarding the bouncing balls involved.
When Judge hit his 60th home run deep into the night against the Pirates and turned a meaningless game meaningful (and then incredible), the fan who nabbed it rolled out of the pile safely and decided to donate the keepsake to the slugger out of the goodness of his own heart. He got some signed items and a photo with Judge for his troubles, and got to plead his case for Big No. 99 staying in the Bronx beyond 2022.
Also … it was 60. Not 61. Not 62. That probably made it easier. Pssh, all Judge did there was tie Babe Ruth. Old news. You evened up with Pre-Integration Joey Chestnut. Big whoop.
61 and 62? Those were bound to be serious business. So serious that the Red Sox and Blue Jays staffs went out of their way not to end up a trivia question. So serious that somebody (named Z. Hample? Or possibly Zack H.?) bought out an entire section for the first two games in Toronto, hoping to get a piece of that sweet, sweet action.
So serious that giving away the milestone baseball immediately resulted in an aggrieved party filing for divorce.
Well, not quite, but NFL Network’s Sara Walsh led us all through a gauntlet of emotions in real time when it became clear her husband, Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, had caught the ricochet of Judge’s 61st home run Wednesday night. Grand plans immediately began to cycle through Walsh’s imagination…
Yankees’ record-tying Aaron Judge HR ball almost caused NFL Network broadcaster’s divorce
…until, it became immediately clear, Buschmann no longer was in possession of the baseball, hundreds of miles away from his wife, who was now phoning lawyers midway through a hurricane.
Marital bliss turned to a marital blitz.
Zero to divorce in one tweetstorm flat? Damn. Maybe we all would’ve been better off if Frankie Lasagna had just caught the ball.
Walsh continued to tweet through it, though, by informing the audience of an amazing historical coincidence, which feels like the 500th Judge-related historical coincidence of the past month.
Forget the numerology of “61 years since ’61” and Pirates pitcher Wil Crowe’s familial link to Red Ruffing. Turns out, Walsh told her eventual husband on their first date that her favorite movie was … *61.
And now, that asterisk stands for “Bag Fumbled by Matt Buschmann.” Kidding!
Like the driven reporter she is, Walsh worked the phone lines shortly thereafter to get an official comment on the situation.
Per Walsh’s insider, there was no pressure from the Yankees to get the ball back from Toronto’s staff. None of Frankie Lasagna’s hired goons got involved.
Buschmann — or, sorry, the “anonymous insider” — just wanted to do what he felt was right, and get the ball to the folks who deserved it.
Eventually, Cooperstown will come calling for equipment, memorabilia, and anything they can get their hands on. According to Judge’s postgame press conference Wednesday, they already have.
And when they polish off the exhibit, make sure they include Buschmann’s wedding ring to Walsh. Won’t be needing that thing anymore, anyway.