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Old 05-28-2014, 11:03 PM
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Gary Dunaier Gary Dunaier is offline
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Default First career MLB pitch MLB baseball (not vintage)

While going through the MLB Auctions website for Mets stuff I was surprised to find the following item up for bids:

Game Used Baseball - [NYM] Rafael Montero to [NYY] Brett Gardner - First Career Pitch - 1st Inning - Mets vs. Yankees - 5/14/14 - EK702627

The very first baseball ever thrown by a Major League pitcher in his career, authenticated and documented. This was a first for me. I've seen game-used baseballs FROM from a pitcher's first game (at last year's MLB Fan Fest MLB was asking $1,000 for a GU ball from Matt Harvey's debut, but that's got to be an extreme case) - but a first pitch, never. It was also surprising to me that the auction began just a week after Montero's debut.

The ball sold for $510.01.



http://auctions.mlb.com/iSynApp/auct...ctionId=193321
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:41 AM
howard38 howard38 is offline
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I haven't seen this either but now tht I have I'm surprised it's not more common. Imagine the bidding war Stephen Strasburg's first pitch ball would have set off.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:04 AM
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I think it's sad that these items don't go to the players.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:19 PM
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Interesting thing is that in that game, Montero also got his first ML strikeout (against Derek Jeter). After the strikeout was called the ball was tossed around the infield until it got to David Wright, who realized its significance and had it put aside for Montero.

Don't know if there is a protocol or custom for pitchers' first-pitch-in-the-majors baseballs like there is for players-first-hit-in-the-majors balls. For example, in the case of Matt Harvey's ML debut, the "first pitch" ball was used for at least his first four pitches in the bigs, including his first strikeout. After that first K the catcher either tossed it to one of the players (where it might have been thrown around the infield before being returned to Harvey) or the batboy (in which case the ball was taken out of play and a new one used) - the SNY video footage doesn't indicate which, and I don't believe the broadcasters made any mention of it. (Harvey got his first hit in that game, and the ball definitely was put aside for him.)
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
Interesting thing is that in that game, Montero also got his first ML strikeout (against Derek Jeter). After the strikeout was called the ball was tossed around the infield until it got to David Wright, who realized its significance and had it put aside for Montero.

Don't know if there is a protocol or custom for pitchers' first-pitch-in-the-majors baseballs like there is for players-first-hit-in-the-majors balls. For example, in the case of Matt Harvey's ML debut, the "first pitch" ball was used for at least his first four pitches in the bigs, including his first strikeout. After that first K the catcher either tossed it to one of the players (where it might have been thrown around the infield before being returned to Harvey) or the batboy (in which case the ball was taken out of play and a new one used) - the SNY video footage doesn't indicate which, and I don't believe the broadcasters made any mention of it. (Harvey got his first hit in that game, and the ball definitely was put aside for him.)
Growing up one my best friend's dad (Roger Holt) was our baseball coach. He played in a couple games for the Yankees in 1980 and had 1 career hit. There was nothing cooler than the first time I saw that ball. Coach Holt is a very quiet guy and I have never heard him bring up playing professional baseball unless he is directly asked about it.
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T206 = 213/524
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SLers = 33/48
Horizontals = 6/6

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Old 06-17-2018, 10:00 AM
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Bumping this long-dormant thread (the previous post was over four years ago) to throw in a couple of comments.

With the benefit of hindsight - specifically, Montero's career performance - I wonder if the buyer regrets paying so much for the ball. I would guess that any current value for that ball, and we're talking novelty value more than financial value, would stem from the fact that it was the very first ball thrown by a Major League pitcher to start his career.

As it happens, the day after that game, another pitcher made his MLB debut for the Mets. I have no idea what happened to that first-pitch-in-the-majors ball, but if it was also auctioned off by MLB, and if it went for a similar price as the Montero ball, I'd say the buyer got a very good deal.

The pitcher's name? Jacob deGrom.


(Jacob deGrom's very first Major League pitch - a 95mph fastball to Brett Gardner for strike one. May 15, 2014, Mets v. Yankees, Citi Field. Screen capture from SNY broadcast; link to upload on Flickr.com, here).
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