One of the underrated aspects of Justin Turner‘s walk-off home run on Sunday night in Game 2 of the NLCS was the tremendous catch by the fan in center field.
The story has an even better ending, as Turner was able to get the ball back from said fan. After the game, Turner was a guest on ‘MLB Tonight’ on MLB Network, and detailed the interaction.
“I did get the ball. I had to wheel and deal a little bit, but I got the ball,” Turner explained. “He didn’t know what he wanted.
“He actually told me, ‘This ball means so much to me, you have no idea.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it means kind of a lot to me too. So, if I can get that ball, it’d be great.’ I took his information down and I said, ‘Hey man, you think about it long and hard tonight and tomorrow, and let me know whatever you need. But I’m keeping this ball here with me.’”
The fan’s name is Keith Hupp, and he has caught several home run balls this season at Dodger Stadium. Arash Markazi at ESPN caught up with Hupp:
After the game, the Dodgers brought Hupp and his son back to meet Turner. Hupp gave the ball to Turner and he and his son took photos with Turner and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. While there was no official exchange on Sunday, Hupp expects it will be similar to what he got in return from Bellinger.
“I didn’t ask for anything, but they told me they would hook me up, and I’m sure they will,” said Hupp, who had 213 text messages on his cell phone by the time he got home before midnight. “That was the biggest ball I’ve ever caught. I thought the biggest ball I’d catch in my life was earlier this year when I caught the game-winning home run ball from Ian Kinsler when the USA won the World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium.”