When Albert Pujols hit his landmark 600th home run on Saturday night, he was in front of a hometown crowd at Angel Stadium. It was a beautiful, high home run that arced toward the foul pole in left field, but once it hit the crowd it was hard to see what happened to the baseball. Did it fall to the ground where fans had to fight for it? Or did someone catch it? And who was the lucky fan who ended up with that once in a lifetime baseball?
Now we know the answers to those questions, and it couldn’t be a better story. Scott Steffel, a 23-year-old lifelong Los Angeles Angels fan, caught the ball in his glove. Steffel described the catch to KCAL in Los Angeles, and it sounds wild.
“Sticking my glove out and it fell right into it. Next thing you know I’m on the ground, people all over me and my brother and dad pulling people off and standing up and I had the ball in my glove and couldn’t believe it.”
Pujols hit his historic home run (a grand slam, actually) in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, so there was plenty of time for Steffel to enjoy the moment. In fact, it’s hard to find a shot of Steffel where he doesn’t look overwhelmingly thrilled by the whole thing.
History in Anaheim with the Twins. This is Scott Steffel who caught Pujols #600. His life might a bit different for the next few day$. pic.twitter.com/w0kReSI40n
— Chris Withers (@ChrisWithersTV) June 4, 2017
Cal State Fullerton student Scott Steffel caught Albert Pujols 600th HR, will present it to Pujols after the game pic.twitter.com/qRsAJmifFe
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) June 4, 2017
— Scott Crevier ???????????? (@crevier) June 4, 2017
And this video is just insane.
— MeGustanLosDeportes (@MGustanDeportes) June 4, 2017
That’s Steffel and the all-important baseball being escorted with a Secret Service amount of security, because this was serious business. There’s security all around him, yelling “make way,” and he’s completely surrounded a tight ring of people, making sure no one tries to get to that baseball.
Catching Pujols’ 600th home run was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, but what happened at the end of the game might have topped it.
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) June 4, 2017
Steffel decided to give the ball back to Pujols for free. He didn’t keep it to sell, or ask anything of the Angels. He just gave it back, because he didn’t feel it belonged to him. This is what Steffel told KCAL:
“It’s not my ball, it’s his. He deserves it. He’s one of the best baseball players right now. Of all time.”
Steffel doesn’t have the ball anymore, but he did get a hug from Albert Pujols. And just like everything else about that magical night, that’s a memory Steffel will have for a lifetime.
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