Caught a grand slam, what to do with it?
June 20, 2009 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I was with a couple of friends at the Cardinals and Royals baseball game last night. In the third inning, Ryan Ludwick of the Cardinals hit a grand slam right to us. My friend caught it and has two questions: 1) Would a player typically want a grand slam ball back? And if so, who the hell do we call? 2) And if he doesn't want it, can we get it signed? We have tickets to today's and tomorrow's game too.
posted by PhillC to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
It was his first grand slam in the majors, so he probably would *really* like to get it. Save your tickets, as part of a memorabilia pack.

I would contact the Cardinals front office directly, if you're interested in getting the thing back to him. As for getting it signed, I would go down to the stadium three hours before game time, ball in hand, get in, and try to get down to the box seats. Explain to any ushers or whatnot what you're up to. Most ushers are megafans themselves, so they'll understand.
posted by notsnot at 9:06 AM on June 20, 2009

He may be thankful enough that you're offering him the ball, that he'd be happy to provide you an autographed ball/bat/something in return.
posted by Atreides at 9:11 AM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, two other things I thought of:
1)if you can, wear the same jerseys/hats as last night (I watched the video clip) and get a picture with him. Both for your own keepsake and as something like verification (because you *know* he watched that shot a million times last night).
2) Definitely think about a trade. Then everybody wins!
posted by notsnot at 9:16 AM on June 20, 2009

I'm surprised that an usher or team representative didn't approach you before the end of the game last night; many times, the team will be aware that the home run was significant (even though the Cards weren't at home) and track you down to offer you something in exchange for the ball. Contact the Cardinals' front office; like Atreides said, Ludwick might offer something nifty in return for the ball.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 9:20 AM on June 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Congratulations. My suggestion would be to contact Brian Bartow, the Cardinals Director of Media Relations.

Here is the contact information for the Cardinals front office:

Busch Stadium
700 Clark Street
St. Louis, MO

Telephone: 314-345-9600
Internet Address:

Source URL:
posted by zooropa at 9:47 AM on June 20, 2009

Response by poster: We're heading to the stadium soon, so thanks for the tips. While getting it signed would be cool, we'd rather trade it back to him. That ball is more important to him then it is to us. We're definitely more interested in getting some things in trade. Thanks everyone.
posted by PhillC at 9:49 AM on June 20, 2009

We're definitely more interested in getting some things in trade

Just be careful you don't act like/come across like a douche.
posted by inigo2 at 9:55 AM on June 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

Don't forget to let us know what happened!
posted by rtha at 9:55 AM on June 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Sjuhawk31 has it.

Usually an usher or staff member will find you and take you back under the stands (clubhouse hall) where the player himself will duck out of the dugout during the game for a moment and sign your ball (if unimportant) or trade it for some other signed things (if important to him.)

The fact you left the stadium with it and are returning a day later is going to make this difficult from a baseball-chain-of-custody* perspective, which is why they usually do it immediately and only when the ball is in known sight. I mean, you could be anyone returning with any ball now, right? I am interested in how the staff handle it now, so please do report back.

(To spend a month exploring this phenomenon, I might recommend Don DeLillo's quite novel Underworld. But I am not that cruel.)
posted by rokusan at 12:14 PM on June 20, 2009

Response by poster: No luck at the stadium so far. It's been raining and no players have been warming up on the field. My friend who caught the ball is pretty distinctive looking (few people recognized him today). We're going to call the front office and see if they have any advice...
posted by PhillC at 12:56 PM on June 20, 2009

The conventional protocol is that you get an autographed bat and/or ball in exchange for the homer. As noted above, people can be real douches about it.

In a case like this, proving provenance is essential. The ticket stubs are important.

Usually the best thing to do in a situation like this is to flag an usher and ask if there's anything you can do. But usually the ushers know enough to know whether something's important (player's first HR, milestone HR). First grand slam is a bit down the list, but if you're nice about and ask for an autographed bat and ball they'll more than likely oblige. Pretty cheap in the scheme of things.
posted by dw at 9:48 PM on June 20, 2009

Response by poster: rtha and everyone else:

Thanks for the advice. Ended up making down to stands by third base as Ludwick and Cardinals were warming up. After some yelling, got him to come over. Tried to explain we had the grand slam ball, but he either didn't care, didn't hear, or didn't believe us. Got him to sign the ball though, so it's all good. We're all pretty big Cardinals fans, so it's a pretty neat souvenir for us to have. Thanks again everyone.
posted by PhillC at 11:01 PM on June 20, 2009

Thanks! Glad it turned out well.
posted by rtha at 5:30 PM on June 21, 2009

A win, win. Nice to hear!
posted by Atreides at 5:38 PM on June 21, 2009

Response by poster: By the way, just found out that the grand slam was also the 1000th career run scored by Albert Pujols. I guess we need to go back and try to get win to sign it too...

Thanks again everyone.
posted by PhillC at 9:35 PM on June 21, 2009

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