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Dodgers Facing Another PR Nightmare With Shohei Ohtani’s Home Run Ball? Potential $100,000 Valuation Revealed

Published 04/11/2024, 3:30 PM EDT

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Just imagine catching a home run ball that baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani hit. A dream come true, right? Speaking of dreams, for Ambar Roman, a fan, that dream quickly turned into a perplexing nightmare soon enough. And this quickly escalated into a frustrating experience. 

Roman got her hands on Ohtani’s first Dodger home run back in April. She was under the pressure of the Dodgers’ security to give it up. In exchange, she got an autographed memorabilia which was barely worth a fraction of the ball’s estimated $100,000 value. Is this the kind of behavior a fan would expect from a team that powerful? 

It’s the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the Fan

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Undoubtedly, this incident has become a PR nightmare for the Dodgers. It eventually left fans questioning the team’s treatment of their fans. And consequentially raised concerns about the memorabilia authentication.

Experts shared that Ohtani’s historic home run ball could fetch a six-figure sum at an auction.  But, what Roman heard was that if she’d keep the call, it wouldn’t be “authenticated” and therefore worthless. Isn’t that statement misleading? While balls hit into the stands can’t be officially authenticated by Major League Baseball due to chain-of-custody concerns, their value remains high for authentic collectors. 

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“I wouldn’t want the next person that this happened to go through the same thing,” Roman said according to The Athletic. “It wasn’t cool as a Dodgers fan.” However, though Roman addressed the positive incorporations by the franchise that followed, the situation has raised questions about their fan interaction policies regarding valuable baseballs.

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Could they have enabled authentication for Roman if she wanted to keep the ball? Could there have been a clearer communication that could have prevented her confusion and frustration? Well, the Dodgers have mentioned that they’re reviewing their procedures. However, the damage to their fan relations seems to have reached a tough patch. 

The Dodgers Compensating For Their Behavior With the Fan

As compensation for the inconvenience caused, Roman is invited back to Dodger Stadium.  She has been receiving more autographed items and premium seats for her “birthday experience” with Ohtani himself. On one hand, this attempt is aimed to amend the issues while also garnering some appreciation. On the other, some fans wonder if the gesture is truly equivalent to the lost potential value of the two-way phenom’s home run ball.

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Read More: Podcast Host Hurls Shocking Accusations at Shohei Ohtani, Calls Two-Way Phenom “Fraud” Amidst Ippei Mizuhara Scandal

This incident underscores the importance of clear communication and transparent guidelines between teams and fans. This also highlights the complexities of memorabilia authentication in the world of sport, particularly MLB. Sure, MLB’s authentication program protects against forgeries, however, it leaves the fan-caught balls in a bit of a grey area.  

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Written by:

Kanishka Prakash

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One take at a time

A pro MLB writer at EssentiallySports, Kanishka Prakash has two years of experience in content curation. Having multiple 'Editors Pick' under her name, Kanishka’s coverage focuses on the legendary Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and current superstars Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper. Not just that, she covers exclusives, her latest on a Chicago Cubs pitching coordinator, and also goes on to discuss trade agreements.
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Edited by:

Shivatmika Manvi