Fans Who Caught Shohei Ohtani’s First Dodgers Homer Disappointed in Treatment From Staff

Shohei Ohtai runs the bases after hitting his first home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Shohei Ohtai runs the bases after hitting his first home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers. / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Dodgers fans who caught Shohei Ohtani's first home run for the franchise on Wednesday night expressed their disappointment over the treatment they received from the organization in the moments afterwards.

Amber Roman was the lucky recipient of Ohtani's first home run ball in a Dodgers uniform. She and her husband Alexis Valenzuela told The Athletic's Sam Blum that they felt "pressured and possibly swindled" by team security and staff.

Roman claims that she and her husband were separated from one another by stadium staff after she caught the home run, and were not allowed to communicate when she negotiated with the team over the price of returning the baseball. Roman also said the team threatened to refuse to authenticate the ball if she did not agree to a trade, which would cause the ball to lose its value, as there'd be no proof it was the official baseball from Ohtani's first home run for the team.

Roman and her husband were initially offered a pair of Dodgers hats signed by Ohtani, but she was able to negotiate up and also secure a signed bat and ball, too. An auction house representative told The Athletic the ball would be worth at least $100,000 at auction. The items the fans received were estimated to be worth $1,000.

"I was just disappointed that a team that I hold so dear pulled a quote-unquote quick one on us," Valenzuela said.

Additionally, Ohtani told reporters Wednesday night, speaking through an interpreter, that he met with the fans and was able to get the baseball back. Roman and Valenzuela told Blum they never met the superstar.

The couple maintain that they don't regret giving the ball back, though they were not pleased with the treatment they received after catching the historic home run ball.


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Karl Rasmussen

KARL RASMUSSEN

Karl Rasmussen is a writer on Sports Illustrated’s Breaking & Trending News Team. A University of Oregon alum, his work has appeared on 12up and ClutchPoints. He’s a loyal Tottenham, Jets, Yankees and Ducks fan.