There will be plenty of memorabilia and equipment that make it to Cooperstown from the 2022 World Series. Yordan Alvarez’s go-ahead home run ball in Game 6 does not appear to be one of them.
Jim Rice, the Astros fan who caught the moonshot from Alvarez that put Houston ahead 3-1, told MLB.com he has no plans to give up the baseball.
“No doubt, this is staying with me,” Rice told MLB.com. “This is my title memory right here.”
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Rice told MLB.com that it wasn’t until 9:45 a.m. on Saturday that he learned his boss at Aethon Energy would be unable to make it to the game. So Rice had a chance to attend a World Series game in his boss’ seat.
“I thought, when I saw these seats, ‘These are great seats. You can see everything in the stadium,'” Rice told MLB.com. “‘Unfortunately, I’m out of home run distance unless someone really gets a hold of one.'”
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Facing Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado in the bottom of the sixth inning, Alvarez got hold of a sinker and sent a no-doubter to straightaway center field over the 40-foot tall batter’s eye at Minute Maid Park. The ball traveled an estimated 450 feet and had an exit velocity of 112.5 mph.
“There aren’t many people on this team that can get a hold of one like Yordan can,” Rice said.
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Souvenirs like Alvarez’s home run often head to Cooperstown to be placed in an exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame, or they wind up back with the team. To get such souvenirs from fans, there will often be a trade: a signed bat, a photo with the athlete and/or a jersey, among other things, in exchange for the item.
Of course, not everyone gives the souvenirs back, as is certainly their right in a sport where the prospect of catching a foul ball or home run ball is often part of the fun of attending the game. For Rice, a lifelong Astros fan, it’s an easy decision to keep this major piece of history.
“I can’t describe it, to be honest with you,” Rice told MLB.com of catching the home run ball. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m starting to get all the texts and emails from everybody. It’s been pretty neat, and to see Yordan, who’s one of my favorite players these days, to see him come through like that was just incredible.”