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Yankees' Aaron Judge's 61st HR Caught by Blue Jays Bullpen Coach Matt Buschmann

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 29, 2022

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28:  Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees scores on a single by Josh Donaldson #28 in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge smacked his American League record-tying 61st home run of the season Wednesday, depositing a pitch from Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Tim Mayza over the Rogers Centre left field wall.

New York Yankees @Yankees

61 years since 61.<br><br>Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball's record books. <a href="https://t.co/1V4Gums34C">pic.twitter.com/1V4Gums34C</a>

A lucky fan won't be able to reap the benefits of catching the ball, however, as the homer fell into the Blue Jays bullpen.

Matt Buschmann, who works as Toronto's bullpen coach, procured the prized possession, according to Julia Kreuz of MLB.com (h/t Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).

Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch

Aaron Judge's 61st HR was caught by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, per <a href="https://twitter.com/juliackreuz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@juliackreuz</a>.

ESPN's Marly Rivera provided some closer video and commentary:

Marly Rivera @MarlyRiveraESPN

My colleagues <a href="https://twitter.com/ShiDavidi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShiDavidi</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/SNJeffBlair?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SNJeffBlair</a> said they thought it was bullpen coach Matt Buschmann who retrieved the HR ball when it bounced in the bullpen. Seems like Buschmann looked around for the marking; the ball has combination of letters/numbers, including a "J". <a href="https://t.co/PrK2LdwXH3">https://t.co/PrK2LdwXH3</a>

Per play-by-play commentator Michael Kay on the YES Network broadcast, the Yankees are now in possession of the ball after getting it from the Jays. That has since been confirmed by WFAN Network:

WFAN Sports Radio @WFAN660

AARON JUDGE BALL UPDATE: Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann caught the ball in the Jays' 'pen, and has given it to Yankees security. ATTN: <a href="https://twitter.com/GioWFAN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GioWFAN</a>

The ultimate confirmation on what went down dropped postgame via NFL Network and NFL on FOX sportscaster Sara Walsh, who is married to Buschmann:

Sara Walsh @Sara_Walsh

Just a reporter doing work here… per my sources…<br><br>Matt Buschmann wasn’t forced to give the ball back but he handed it over to Zack Britton. <a href="https://twitter.com/Busch26?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Busch26</a> told me:<br><br>“The Judge and Maris family have been flying all over the country. They deserve to have that ball.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bluejays?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bluejays</a>

Now the question is whether Judge can stand alone as the American League's all-time single-season home run leader with one more shot.

He'll have plenty of chances to get it done with three home games against the Baltimore Orioles and four road matchups against the Texas Rangers to close the regular season.

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