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Fan Catches Record-Breaking Shohei Ohtani Home Run Ball and Decides to Keep It

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Jason Patino, attending his first game at Dodger Stadium, caught a milestone home run ball from Shohei Ohtani, setting a new record for the most homers by a Japanese player in the major leagues. Despite offers, Patino has decided to keep the significant piece of sports history.

In an unforgettable moment at Dodger Stadium this past Sunday, Jason Patino made a catch that baseball fans dream about. Patino, who was attending his first-ever game at the venue, caught a home run ball hit by Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels during their game against the New York Mets. This was no ordinary home run; it was Ohtani's 176th in the major leagues, surpassing Hideki Matsui's record to become the Japanese player with the most homers in MLB history.

Describing his once-in-a-lifetime experience, Patino told the Japanese news outlet Livedoor, "I was able to catch it without moving a step. There were so many people there. I hit my head and it hurts a bit, but I’m fine." Following the catch, he consulted with stadium security who authenticated the ball, putting an official seal on it. Patino was offered an autographed ball in exchange for the historic item but chose to keep the original ball, recognizing its significant value and personal importance.

The value of the ball is estimated to be well into the five figures, making it a highly prized piece of memorabilia. Patino's decision echoes a sentiment felt by many who find themselves suddenly in possession of such notable sports artifacts.

In a related incident earlier this month, another fan caught Ohtani’s first home run as a Dodger. She initially felt pressured to hand the ball over to the team in exchange for autographs. However, the situation was amicably resolved when she was invited to meet Ohtani last week, an experience that likely compensated for the initial pressure.

Patino’s story highlights the excitement and dilemmas fans face when catching milestone baseballs. While some may trade them back to the players or teams, others, like Patino, hold on to these tangible pieces of sports history, cherishing the personal connection to a significant moment.

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