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The guy who caught Albert Pujols’ 500th homer has had a pretty good few weeks

May 23, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

pujols homer fan

People always talk about what they’d get if they caught a famous home run ball. How much they’d auction it for. Or, if they were to “give” it back to the player who hit it, what they’d get in exchange.

Tom Sherrill, an Air Force staff sergeant, caught Albert Pujols‘ 500th home run ball in Washington. And, as was reported last month, he just gave it back. He didn’t ask for money or merch or tickets or autographs. But, as the Los Angeles Daily News reports, he got all kinds of cool experiences out of it anyway.

Maybe he gets those experiences even if he cajoles some swag from Pujols and the Angels. But it’s nice to see things being done gratuitously for a change.

  1. thetoolsofignorance - May 23, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    So shines a good deed in a weary world

  2. renaado - May 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Now that, is “world” class. Gotta love this guy’s humility.

  3. yahmule - May 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    I’ll bet the guy who handed back McGwire’s home run ball instead of auctioning it will hate himself until he dies.

    • cohnjusack - May 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Tim Forneris was the guy’s name. From what I remember, the guy had completed law school but worked on the Cardinals grounds crew because he loved baseball so much.

      Looked him up. He’s now a public defender in St. Louis and seems to have zero regrets about giving the ball away for free.

      Here’s an article about him from 2012
      http://brettmcmillan.wordpress.com/tag/tim-forneris/

      • cohnjusack - May 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        “Do you ever regret handing that ball back to Mark McGwire?”
        “Absolutely not”

  4. jerseybando - May 23, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    KARMA.

  5. hakashaq - May 23, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I have spent the equivalent of one day’s pay at the ballpark. I don’t think it would be out of line to ask Albert for one day’s pay of his for the 500 HR ball…

    • hakashaq - May 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      $23,000,000.00 divided by 162 games = $141,975.30 … seems fair enough??

  6. echech88 - May 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Good for him. Sounds like when you factor in the free flights, tickets, experiences etc. he’s ended up getting great value despite not selling it.

  7. illogic87 - May 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Id charge Pujols 100 grand for it

  8. jm91rs - May 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Far better guy than I am. I’d sell to the highest bidder and have my kids college taken care of for awhile.

  9. motherscratcher23 - May 23, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Do we have any idea what the ball would have been worth if auctioned?

    • hakashaq - May 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      $141,975.30

  10. ud1951 - May 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    You seem a little surprised that a member of the military would act honorably. I would have been much more shocked if he had not.

    • ezthinking - May 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      I’m confused why giving something away that is yours is ‘honorable.’ It’s generous, but honor has really nothing to do with it.

  11. jimmyt - May 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    My thoughts exactly, McGwire barely even acknowledged him and he could have sold that thing for a million bucks back then. Now it’s just a piece of fake memorabilia from a cheater.

  12. braddavery - May 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    “good deed” “world class” “good karma” “honorable”

    I don’t see how what he did is ANY of this. No matter what he decided to do with the ball, it’s an innocuous issue. There was no right or wrong thing to do. Although what he did isn’t a bad thing, the praise he gets from some people flabbergasts me. He sells it, so what. He gives it back, so what.

  13. sfm073 - May 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Why just give it away? It cost $8 dollars for a freaking hotdog to help pay for his $30 million dollar salary and I should just give you the ball?

  14. southanimal - May 23, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    oh gosh he is one of the dumbest person i ever heard!!!

    • 4d3fect - May 23, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      Cursing the darkness

  15. Reflex - May 23, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    It always makes me sad to see how greedy people are. But even worse, that even when no one is condemning their greed, they mock those who are more selfless.

    He did the right thing. And something tells me he would have been okay if he had received absolutely nothing for it. Which is as it should be. It was not his accomplishment.

    • lsv87 - May 24, 2014 at 6:21 AM

      I really hate all these ridiculous statements about greed. Yes it is not his accomplishment but it is HIS ball. Once he catches it, it is HIS property to do what he wants with it. Now he shouldn’t hold it hostage and ask for millions or put it up for auction but considering Pujols is one of the highest paid players in sports and he is spending hundreds of thousands on all his toys is it out of the question to ask for something which is pocket change to Pujols and Pujols gets the ball? It is not greed but a way to make his life and his family a little easier.

      • Reflex - May 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        1) Nobody said there should be any rule that its to be given back. Only that it was common decency to do so.

        2) Yes it is greedy to ask for something for something you acquired for free as a stroke of luck.

        3) How rich someone is is irrelevant. Holding their memories hostage for cash is greedy no matter how you slice it.

        4) In my life, when I die, I hope I can look back and never see a point where I secured my future by taking from another something I did not earn. I do not begrudge the fact that others do not feel the same way about their own lives, but I do think it is sad that they often mock those of us who hold such an ideal.

  16. onlinedollarsandsense - May 24, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    When the ball was caught it become the property of the guy who caught it. It was never Pujols’s ball. Pujols gets 23 million year to play a game. Paying 100k for the ball wouldn’t faze him. However it would have been life changing money for the guy who caught it.

  17. lsv87 - May 24, 2014 at 6:17 AM

    What he did was respectful and classy HOWEVER considering Pujols is one of the highest paid players in baseball I don’t think it would be out of the question to ask for something and anyone who says that is bad can take a hike. I would ask for a nice dinner with him in nice restaurant and he can give me a check for whatever the ball is worth to him. Whether it be $1 or more I’d leave the amount up to him and I’d be fine with it.

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