Fan just missed out on Aaron Judge’s historic home run ball

ARLINGTON, Texas — Section 31, Row 1, Seat 3 was the place to be to catch history — and perhaps a jackpot — on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field.

The man in Section 31, Row 1, Seat 5 came within inches of being the one to snag it.

Ashin Rangani, a Yankees fan who lives in Dallas, was recording Aaron Judge’s first plate appearance when Judge crushed a fly ball in his direction. He dropped his phone and threw up his arms as the record-breaking ball flew towards him, only to have another fan, reportedly identified as Cory Youmans, step in front of him and catch Judge’s 62nd home run.

“I’m telling you, I was sure,” Rangani said a few innings later. “There was nobody next to me. And he did a good job. He bodied everyone out and he had a glove. I didn’t see him coming at all. He caught it right in front of me.

“At that point, I was in shock. I recorded everything right until it was maybe 20 feet away. Threw my phone down and then I was kind of shaking. When he went over and caught it, I had a little bit of, ‘That was me! That’s mine!’ But also shaking in excitement and just being part of history.”

Screen grabs taken from of New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hitting his 62nd home run of the 2022 MLB season, breaking Roger Maris' record. October 4, 2022. Choctaw Stadium, Arlington, TX.
Cory Youmans expertly made sure he was in position to catch Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run.

Seconds after Youmans caught the home run ball — which broke Roger Maris’ American League and franchise single-season record — security descended upon him from both sides to whisk him away.

“He was real nervous,” Rangani said. “He was shaking and pale. I went over there and we were just jumping and celebrating together.”

As he was led to a secure room, Youmans told reporters he did not yet know what he was going to do with the ball, which was said to be possibly worth millions.

Everything to know about Aaron Judge and his chase for the home run record:

A record 38,832 fans flooded into Globe Life Field for Tuesday’s nightcap — the highest paid attendance at the stadium since it opened in 2020.

But besides Youmans, none were closer to getting their hands on it than Ragnani, who lived in Flushing for a few years of his childhood before moving to Dallas. His boss bought the tickets to the game a month ago, knowing the trajectory Judge was on and figuring they might have a shot at catching something past 62.

“[My boss] was waiting at the top of the steps [of section 31] because they wouldn’t let him down the steps until Judge was done batting because of the anticipation,” Rangani said. “It came right where he was sitting, but what can you do?”

But there was one thing left for Rangani to do after all the madness had finally died down.

“I’m still in shock,” he said. “I was hungry when I got here and I still haven’t eaten anything, man.”

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