St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols is fine with a fan keeping his 700th home run ball, even if some think he should demand its return.
Pujols isn’t a man of milestones — he’s frequently expressed that numbers are just that to him, and he’ll have time to reflect upon his career when he retires.
So, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Pujols doesn’t mind if a random fan has his 700th home run ball, and doesn’t seem intent on giving it to Albert. Everything comes at a price these days, even history.
“Souvenirs are for the fans. I don’t have any problem if they want to keep it,” Pujols told reporters after the game, per Dodgers beat writer Bill Plunkett. “If they want to give it back, that’s great. But at the end of the day, I don’t focus on material stuff.”
Should fan give Albert Pujols his 700th home run ball?
There’s a wide spectrum of opinions on this, and rightly so. Pujols is an all-time great and, in a just world, the ball would eventually end up back with him. But that’s not how things work in a game predicated on attendance, viewership and popularity among a rapidly-shrinking fanbase.
If said fan wants to keep the ball and auction it off to the highest bidder, that’s well within their right. Eventually, it will end up in the hands of a representative from the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’ll just come at a cost. A couple of signed bats and balls aren’t enough to make up for the potential six-figure markup (estimated) that said fan could receive for selling Pujols prized possession. That’s life-changing money for some, and chump change for a guy like Albert.
At the end of the day, this isn’t all that complicated. If Pujols is fine with it, I have no right to complain.