On the first day of October and the final day of the regular season, the Yankees outfielder broke Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs. Brooklyn truck driver Sal Durante tried to give Maris back the ball, but the Yankees slugger insisted that Durante sell the ball and keep the money. The fan ended up selling it for $5,000 to a restaurant owner who displayed the ball and eventually gave it to Maris. The ball now resides in the Hall of Fame.
2 of 12UPI/Bettmann
Fans in the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium bleachers never got to touch the ball that broke Babe Ruth's career home run record. Instead, Hank Aaron's blast landed in the Braves' bullpen, where reliever Tom House picked it up and gave it to his teammate. The ball is now on display in the Braves Hall of Fame at Turner Field.
3 of 12Walter Iooss Jr./SI; AP
One of the most famous home runs of all time, Carlton Fisk's blast gave the Red Sox the win in Game 6 of the World Series. Unbeknownst at the time, when the Reds took Game 7 to win the title, George Foster had two reasons for celebrating. Why? In 1999, Foster would come forward and say that he had the ball that Fisk had hit. The ball sold for $113,000 at auction.
4 of 12Bettmann/CORBIS; Richard Drew/AP
Part-time Brewers groundskeeper Richard Arndt caught Aaron's last home run. At the time no one had any way of knowing that Aaron would stop at 755 (there were still two months left in the season, after all), and so Arndt was told that Aaron did not have time to meet with him after the game. Arndt's decision to keep the ball resulted in the groundskeeper being fired for not returning the club's "property." He sold the ball for $650,000 in 1999.
5 of 12Ed Reinke/AP
A magical year for baseball (at the time, at least), the 1998 season reached a climax with Mark McGwire breaking Roger Maris' home run record while slugging rival Sammy Sosa, as well as Roger Maris' children, looked on. Cardinals groundskeeper Tim Forneris picked up the ball and gave it to McGwire after the game, who then gave it to the Hall of Fame. In exchange Forneris was given a lifetime family pass to Cooperstown.
6 of 12Bill Greenblatt/UPI; David E. Klutho/SI
No one has ever cashed in on a baseball like Philip Ozersky has. Sitting in a leftfield luxury box with research scientist coworkers at Busch Stadium, Ozersky caught McGwire's final home run of the 1998 season. A bidding war for the ball resulted a few months later and Ozersky came away about $3 million richer, donating some of the money to charity.
7 of 12Scott Audette/AP
Wade Boggs' 3000th hit
Devil Rays fan Mike Hogan caught Wade Boggs' 3000th hit -- a home run -- in the Tropicana Field bleachers. Hogan gave the ball to Boggs in exchange for an autographed jersey and bat. A yellow seat now marks the spot where Hogan was sitting when he caught the ball.
8 of 12Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP; Brad Mangin/SI
No one is quite sure who caught Barry Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run. Patrick Hayashi left the stadium with the ball, but fellow fan Alex Popov later filed a lawsuit, saying that Hayashi had taken the ball from him during the resulting mayhem in the stands. Game footage proved inconclusive and a lengthy court case concluded with the two fans ordered to sell the ball and split the profits. Todd McFarlane, who also owns McGwire's 70th, bought the ball for $517,000. Unfortunately for Hayashi and Popov, neither is believed to have made a profit due to legal fees.
9 of 12Frank Franklin II/AP
Graduate student -- and Yankees season ticket holder -- Walter "Sonny" Kowalczyk caught Rodriguez's 500th home run. After initially being unsure about what to do with the ball, Kowalczyk sold it in 2010 for $103,579.
10 of 12Brant Ward, Mary Altaffer, Handout/AP
The ball that put Barry Bonds atop the all-time home run leaderboard was caught by college student Matt Murphy (left). Fashion designer Marc Ecko (right) bought it for $752,467 and used it as a marketing opportunity, telling fans to visit his website and choose what to do with the ball. Given the option of sending it into space, branding it with an asterisk and giving it to Cooperstown, or giving it to Cooperstown untouched, fans opted for the asterisk. The Hall of Fame now has the ball -- complete with the branded asterisk.
11 of 12David Zalubowski/AP
When Barry Bonds hit the 762nd home run of his career, many wondered if that would that be the last home run of Bonds' career. It turned out it would be. But who had caught the ball? Months after making the catch, Rockies fan Jameson Sutton came forward and announced that he would auction off the ball. Game footage, as well as a successful polygraph test corroborated Sutton's claim that he had the real ball. Sutton was hoping for $1 million, but the ball ended up being sold for $376,612.
12 of 12Jason Szenes/EPA/Landov; Ray Stubblebine/Reuters
Jeter's 3000th hit
Derek Jeter became the 28th player to accumulate 3,000 hits, and just the second one to reach the milestone on a home run. The ball hit the palm of Yankees fan Raul Lopez and bounced into the hands of his son, Christian. Christian Lopez returned the ball to Jeter, and despite not asking for anything, Lopez was given a trove of Yankees memorabilia, as well as tickets to a luxury suite at Yankees Stadium for the rest of the season. Raul Lopez, however, has admitted that he might not have been so willing to give up the ball had he been the one who had caught it.
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