A teenager who caught the first-ever home run for the HIllsboro Hops, a Single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, had some lofty demands when team officials tried to make a trade for the ball.
The team moved this season to Hillsboro, Oregon, a town close to Portland. Monday was the team’s first home game at the newly built Hillsboro Ballpark, and there was even a Major League Baseball authenticator on hand in case anything significant happened.
So naturally team officials were excited when Jordan Parr hit the team’s — and the stadium’s — first home run ever. A 15-year-old sitting in the outfield caught the ball, so the team’s officials thought they would offer an exchange to keep the historic ball.
They first offered him a ball autographed by the entire team, but the 15-year-old turned them down. The Hillsboro officials made a counter offer that included a baseball bat, a team hat, and a replacement ball, but still the teenager held out for more.
Realizing that he was playing hard ball — by this point, the 15-year-old had his dad working as his agent in the negotiations — the team made an offer they thought he couldn’t refuse. They gave him free season tickets the every remaining home game.
Still, it wasn’t enough for the teenager who did nothing more than catch a home run ball at a minor league baseball game. He now wanted the season tickets instead for his entire family, plus everything else they’d already offered. This seemed to be the breaking point for the Hillsboro Hops, and general manager K.L. Wombacher shut down negotiations.
Even a few days later, the teenager is holding firm.
“We are still at a stalemate in negotiations,” Wombacher said. “I guess it was his birthday, he had a great time. We would have loved to work with him.”
The team didn’t let it put a damper on the rest of the night. Though they never got the home run ball back from the 15-year-old, they did defeat the Eugene Emeralds 12-0.