Aaron Judge will remain in pinstripes, and it'll only cost the Yankees $360 million over the course of nine years. After betting on himself and going on to break the single-season American League home run record, Judge was a lock to be an extremely pricey free agent. News of his contract, though, comes at a perfect time.
On December 17th, Goldin will close the auction of Judge's 62nd home run ball from this past season. That ball, of course, broke the 61 home run record set by Roger Maris way back in 1961. The ball promises to be extraordinarily valuable. Already, with a week and a half remaining, bidding with buyer's premium is at $1.44 million.
Judge's re-signing in New York is believed to increase the value of the ball, given the unique notoriety of legends in the Bronx. Rick Probstein was quick to publicly up his bid after the story broke.
The gaudy contract got us thinking: what would it take for Judge to purchase the milestone ball himself? Might the man who sent it into orbit want it for his own collection?
It goes without saying: he can afford it now. The $360 million deal averages $40 million per annum. Over the course of 162 games, that's just under $247,000 per game.
Apparently, Cory Youmans, who caught the ball, was offered $3 million before he chose to send the ball to auction with Goldin. No slam dunk, but for the sake of it, let's assume that's where the bidding ends up.
Without taking taxes into consideration (a pretty major factor), Judge would need to play 12.15 games under his new contract to purchase the ball. That's about 8% of an MLB season. If you wanted to get in the ballpark (pun very much intended) of how many games it would take after taxes, double it. Honestly, that's not nothing.
It highlights the staggering value of some sports memorabilia items that one of the highest-paid players in the sport might hesitate to spend what it takes to buy his own record ball. Obviously, we don't know if Judge would indeed hesitate or if he would be interested at all, but even for someone that wealthy, $3 million is no pittance.
Just for fun and for comparison, let's say Tom Brady stayed retired and wanted to buy his "last" touchdown ball at Lelands earlier this year. That sold for $518,628. Brady is reportedly earning a salary of $15 million in Tampa. That shakes out to $882k per game.
Brady would have to play one half of football and about a third of the third quarter. That's just 3.5% of an NFL regular season. Let's put it another way. Brady has been sacked 18 times in 12 games this year, a rate of 1.5 sacks per game. That means he'd likely take a sack in that 2.33 quarter period. It then becomes a fun bar question: would you, a non-athlete, regular person, take a blindside sack (come on, we have to make it a little more challenging...and fun) from an NFL defensive end for the GOAT's last touchdown ball?
In Judge's case, it's simpler. Whether he mashes some dingers or not, within about 16% of the next MLB season, he'll have taken home enough pay in salary alone to pay for his 62nd home run ball. Whether he wants to? Let Ken Goldin know, big fella.
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