It took a little doing but Chris Coghlan did get his first home run ball back.
Nick Yohanek, aka "The Happy Youngster," has made a living being in the right place at the right time. According to Yohanek's website, Coghlan's home run was the 49th he's caught dating to 1998.
"It took some negotiation, but I did get it back," said Coghlan, who gave Yohanek a bat and took a photo with him. "He wanted other things. He wanted tickets to the Yankees games. He wanted a Hanley [Ramirez autographed] ball, a Hanley bat. I was just trying to be as polite as I could and be respectful. You only get one, so I wanted to get it and give it to my mom."
Initially, I understood the fan's request, it is the normal give and take since once a ball goes into the seats, it belongs to the fan who is possession of said ball.
Of course, if I had caught it, I would've given it to Chris, but it still would've come with a price. Photos and autographs I could give away to the FishStripers, but somehow I think that would be received differently.
And I sure wouldn't have been a jerk about it.
Coghlan added that Yohanek, a 29-year-old police officer, "wasn't the most polite or respectful guy about the whole process. He told me he does this a lot. He goes around and catches these balls and holds them for ransom, even though he doesn't say that's what he does, but that's what it seemed like to me."
What I would do is a hypothetical because there is no way I'm ever going catch a ball hit by a major leaguer again. I caught a foul ball once, in my bare hands, and I still remember the pain. Now, I get out of the way.
But all of that said, this is water under the bridge or over the dam or where ever you want the water to run, Mom gets the ball. And that is the way it should be.
A final note: Mr. Rodriguez, I apologize for quoting too much of the story.