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MLB | Apr 05

What the Dodgers Did to the Fan Who Caught Ohtani’s HR Was Not Cool

The Dodgers Refused to Authenticate the Ball and Then Pressured the Fan to Give it Up

What the Dodgers Did to the Fan Who Caught Ohtani’s HR Was Not Cool
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers | Kohei Choji / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP

Sh*tty Move From the Dodgers

I would have given Ohtani or any other player the ball too, but not before getting a fair deal…

Dodgers Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run for the team since signing a record $700 million contract in the offseason, but MLB news outlets reported some controversy surrounding the historic moment.

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Ohtani’s first home run with the Dodgers came in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s 5-4 home win against the rival Giants. Sadly, long-time Dodgers fan Ambar Roman, who caught the ball, told Sam Blum of The Athletic that LA Dodgers security personnel pressured her to hand over the ball so Ohtani could have it as a reminder of a special moment for him.


Shohei Ohtani’s stats in the game were great, as he went 2-for-4 with the previously mentioned home run, one RBI and a run scored. The home run ball landed at Roman’s feet and she picked it up, before she and her husband, Alexis Valenzuela, were escorted from the stands by the security staff.

“Roman and Valenzuela say the security staff separated them, pressured them, and left them little choice but to hand over the baseball for a low-ball offer. The Dodgers initially dangled two caps signed by Ohtani in exchange for a ball that an auction house representative told The Athletic would be worth at least $100,000.

“Roman said the hardball tactics by team officials included the threat of refusing to authenticate the baseball if she decided to take it home. This was no trivial matter: A lack of authentication would render the ball worthless, all but forcing her to accept the trade,” Blum explained.

 

An Unfortunate Turn of Events

Ohtani, through interpreter Will Ireton, said he “was able to talk to the fan, and was able to get it back. Obviously, it’s a very special ball, a lot of feelings toward it, I’m very grateful that it’s back.”

Hey Shohei, about that, Roman and Valenzuela told Blum that they never met you! This puts Ohtani’s quote in a completely different light, clearly someone is lying! Although, if we read carefully, Ohtani said he talked to her. So, if Ohtani did talk to her but didn’t meet her in person, technically both sides might be right.

Anyway, the plot thickens, as Dylan Hernandez from the Los Angeles Times, who is fluent in Japanese, said that Ohtani “technically didn’t say that he was the person who spoke to the fan, he made it sound as if he was.”

In the end, Roman and Valenzuela went home with just two signed hats and a signed bat and ball… are you kidding me? I would have given Ohtani or any other player the ball too, but not before getting a fair deal, they should’ve fought for more!


A Dodgers spokesperson did say the team was “open to a further conversation with the fan about the transaction.” But come on, fans catching a historic ball is not something that happens at many MLB games, you don’t have to make it seem like they’re getting punished for it. Better communication and manners while offering a fair deal to reward them is not a hard thing to do.

Shame on you Dodgers!

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