Pujols, 'for the fans,' not upset fan kept HR No. 700 ball

September 24th, 2022

With and both barreling toward historic home runs, there’s been plenty of discourse surrounding what the proper restitution is for returning a historic baseball. 

In fact, September has already featured two examples of fans getting rewarded for catching a historic ball, as a fan in Tampa Bay received four signed balls and a signed bat in return for Triston Casas’ first home run ball, while the fan who caught Judge’s 60th home run received a bounty that included a clubhouse meet-and-greet with Judge, four autographed baseballs and a signed game bat.

One person who seemingly isn’t concerned with that discourse is Pujols himself. 

After slugging career home run No. 699 in the third inning of Friday’s game against the Dodgers, Pujols crushed home run No. 700 in the next frame -- two balls that will forever serve as monuments to Pujols’ historic feat. And while the fan who caught Pujols’ 699th homer returned the ball, the fan who caught home run No. 700 left the stadium as soon as the ball was authenticated, something Pujols doesn’t seem to mind. 

“Souvenirs are for the fans," Pujols said after the game. "I don’t have any problem if they want to keep it. If they want to give it back, that’s great. But at the end of the day, I don’t focus on material stuff."

This isn’t the first time Pujols has expressed a disinterest in keeping a memento from his journey to 700. Earlier this month, Pujols let the fans keep the ball from 697th career home run, which came on Sept. 11 against the Pirates at PNC Park. That historic homer moved him past Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the all-time list. 

“It’s just a baseball. They deserve to have it. It went out of the ballpark,” Pujols said then. “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.”

If Pujols does decide that he wants the ball back, maybe he can try and recruit DJ Kitty to help him get it back.