'They deserve to have it': Pujols tells fans to keep 697th HR ball

September 11th, 2022

Sometimes when you go to the ballpark, you come back with a priceless piece of baseball history.

Matt and Samantha Brown received the memento of a lifetime on Sunday at PNC Park, as the couple ended up with Cardinals icon ’ historic 697th home run ball, which brought him to fourth place all time on the AL/NL homer leaderboard. When they went to return the ball to Pujols, he surprised them by encouraging them to keep the relic of baseball lore.

“It’s just a baseball. They deserve to have it. It went out of the ballpark,” Pujols said about the decision. “We play this game for the fans. So whether they want to give it back or they want to keep it, I don’t have any problem with that.”

Pujols also gifted the couple two signed baseballs to go along with the game ball.

The memento comes on a surely emotional day for Samantha, as one year ago to the day, her father passed away.

“I think it means for that girl more than me having it in my trophy case,” Pujols said.