So that’s where that went
Jorge Soler’s three-run homer in the third inning of Game 6 of the World Series felt like the final nail in the coffin for the Astros. The Braves slugger turned on a hanging slider and hit it hard enough to send a shiver down your spine. It sailed clear over the train track on top of the back wall of the stadium and landed somewhere in the darkness beyond.
MLB’s Statcast system estimated that the ball traveled 446 feet, but I would have believed it if it said it went 600 feet. After the ball hit the ground, a lot of reporters covering the game had the same instinct: Try to find it.
One of the guys from The Ringer/Fox Sports duo Cespedes Family BBQ ventured outside the ballpark and, having failed to find a witness who saw the ball leave the yard, concluded that it probably got stuck up on the train tracks.
Ryan Fagan of Sporting News got someone to point out where they saw the ball land, but the area was off-limits.
Two other reporters, though—Matt Young of Chron and ESPN’s Jesse Rogers—managed to figure out what happened to the ball. It was retrieved by an Astros fan whose brother lives across the street, where he was throwing a watch party.
Manuel Ramos was watching the game at his brother Richard’s apartment at 500 Crawford Street. They were on the balcony when they saw Soler’s homer land on an awning and roll to a stop on the ground, at which point they started plotting to retrieve it.
The ball came to a rest outside the ballpark but inside a chain-link fence that divides the stadium from the adjacent street. Richard’s wife, Shawnda, went down to see whether she could get the ball and tried to convince ballpark security to let her inside the fence so she could grab it.
“I was talking to security, like, ‘Please, just escort me over there,’ ” she told ESPN.
Shawnda’s pleas managed to distract security long enough for Manuel to jump the fence, pick up the ball and abscond with it.
“I guess I distracted them,” Shawnda told ESPN. “I didn’t even do it on purpose. I didn’t even know he came down [with me].”
Manuel brought the ball back up to the party where, although the Astros were on their way to defeat, the mood was buoyed by the piece of history.
The brothers hadn’t decided what to do with the ball when they spoke to Young and Rogers, but they’re keeping their options open. Richard joked with Young that he would start the bidding “at a million dollars.”
Manuel said he could use the money, but he also recognizes the historic and sentimental value of the ball.
“It’s definitely a souvenir for someone; it would be a prized possession I'm sure,” he told the Chronicle. “Seriously, it’s not about money for me though. I’m all about the H and an Astros fan for life, but if the Braves or [Soler] want it, I’d be open to it.”
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A good song
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