All right, so this story is just kind of hilarious. Illinois outfielder Jordan Parr was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 15th round of the MLB Draft a few weeks ago, and he gave up his final year of college eligibility to sign his contract. Jordan was then assigned to Arizona's minor league affiliate the Hillsboro Hops, which is a team named after a beer ingredient that plays not too far from Portland, Oregon.
Well, the Hillboro Hops are a new team and opened their new stadium, Hillsboro Park this week. And on Monday night Jordan Parr hit the first home run in the history of the park, and the team wanted to commemorate the moment and retrieve the ball.
And that's when things got hilarious. I'll let John Canzano of The Oregonian tell the tale.
Jordan Parr hadn't even crossed home plate after belting the first home run in Hillsboro Ballpark history on Monday night and already the place was starting to feel big time.
The Hops wanted the historic baseball for the ballpark trophy case. In fact, they requested Major League Baseball send an authenticator to the stadium in the event someone hit one, but the poor guy remained on standby as the Single-A organization found itself embroiled in a negotiation with the 15-year-old boy who caught the baseball.
The Hops offered the kid an autographed team baseball in exchange for the home-run ball.
He turned them down.
The organization upped the offer to include a baseball bat, a team hat and a replacement baseball. Each of those overtures was refused. By the fifth inning, the 15-year-old's father was consulting on the matter, and the offer from the Hops included a free season-ticket to every remaining home game for the kid. The counteroffer from the kid was everything that had been previously offered, plus a set of season tickets for his entire family.
About this time, K.L. Wombacher, the executive vice president and general manager, halted the negotiations and retreated to a spot behind the grandstand to watch the rest of the game.
"Too rich for us," he said.
Which is just awesome, even if I do think this kid's demands for a home run ball hit by a player on a Single-A short season team are a bit insane. Still, I admire his moxie, even if he is overplaying his hand and at the end of the day is going to wind up with a baseball that means a lot more to the team and Jordan Parr than it ever will him.
I mean, give me the bat and jersey over the ball any day.
Either way, this kid is going to end up being a great lawyer or agent one day.