Aaron Judge Home Run Balls Could Be Worth Up to $20 Million
AP Photo/Abbie Parr. Pictured: Aaron Judge.
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is sitting on 59 dingers and his upcoming home run balls could net up to $20 million collectively.
There's plenty of history ahead. The next one is 60, the number Babe Ruth hit in 1927.
The one after that is Roger Maris, who hit 61 in 1961.
And the next one after that is the all-time American League record.
That, not surprisingly, has resulted in a huge bump in prices in the left field bleachers at Yankee Stadium over the next couple days, for fans hoping not only to see the milestone, but to catch it.
Big home run balls have sold for sizeable money in the past.
Comic book artist Todd McFarlane bought McGwire's No. 70 from the home run chase of 1998 for $3 million. He paid another $300,000 for McGwire's Nos. 67, 68 and 69 and Sammy Sosa's Nos. 61 and 66.
McFarlane bought Barry Bonds' final home run ball, the current record of No. 73 from the 2003 season, for $517,500. Factoring for inflation, that's a total of $6.5 million in home run balls.
Ken Goldin of auction house Goldin said McFarlane's collection of balls today are worth about $1.5 million total — quite the deterioration in value compared to what he paid.
But all three players have been associated with performance-enhancing drugs, which has taken some polish off the milestone.
Given Judge's squeaky clean image, his status as a Yankee and other subjective factors, his homers may be worth far more.
The Action Network canvassed some of the most well-known people in the sports memorabilia community to get their best estimates.
The highest? An estimate that Judge's 60th, 61st, 62nd and final home run balls could be worth over $20 million collectively.
Chris Brigandi, Brigandi Coins & Collectibles
In the current state of the sports memorabilia bull market, we expect to see record breaking sales for Aaron Judge's home run baseballs.
In 2022, we've already seen unprecedented figures for iconic pieces, particularly one-of-one game used items, including a game worn Maradona "Hand of God" jersey for $9.28 Million and a Michael Jordan 1998 NBA Finals game worn jersey for $10.1 Million.
The only negatives we see is that Judge and baseball do not have the global recognition and buyer support like Michael Jordan and Maradona. And perhaps some collectors believe that Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa are the real home run champions. But we discredit that notion for obvious reasons.
With that said, we can expect Judge's 60th to be valued at $500K+, 61st (AL-record tying) at $2 Million+, 62 and record setting at $5-10 Million.
Ken Goldin, Goldin
His 62nd home run would be a new all-time American league record and whatever the final home run of the season is will be the new American league standard. Add to the fact that he is a very popular Yankee and there is no controversy surrounding him. I'd say the 60th is worth $150,000, the 61st is worth $250,000 and the 62nd and the all-time final home run ball are each worth $500,000.
Jeff Woolf, Iconic Auctions
Yankee memorabilia is the elite of all sports memorabilia. Any mark of greatness achieved in pinstripes commands a premium. We already saw a flash of the market frenzy during Judge's rookie year and I'd fully expect the same type of reaction from the hobby.
I'd assume that Judge's 60th and 61st home runs will command low six figures. The 62nd, breaking Maris' team record should be a high six-figure item, if not seven figures.
And I'd imagine that his final home run ball of the season, establishing a new team and AL record, should be a seven-figure baseball.
Brahm Wachter, Sothebys
I think No. 60 is $100,000 and No. 61, which is a special number to Yankee fans, is $300,000 to $400,000. No. 62 is $400 to $600,000 with the final ball worth at least $1 million.
Michael Russek, Grey Flannel Auctions
Considering what is going on with the current climate of sports memorabilia, and the historic prices that we are achieving, Judge's record breaking home run balls will command an incredible price.
The New York Yankees are the largest market share, and the timing of these benchmark baseballs hitting the market will lead to record breaking prices. I can easily see each one setting a new industry standard, with his record breaking baseball selling for more than $1 million.
David Kohler, SCP Auctions
I have No. 60 at $50,000 to $70,000. The No. 61 tying Maris at $150,000 to $200,000, the record is $100,000 more ($300,000) and the all-time AL record is worth at least $500,000.