7/16/2008 04:03:00 PM

Canadian With A-Rod's Mantle Passing HR Ball Won't Give It Up

Posted by Mark McCray |

St. John's Telegraph:

A Newfoundland man who has Alex Rodriguez's 537th home run ball is playing a little hardball with the New York Yankees.

Jamie Tilley, a St. John's native who is living in Barrie, Ont., hasn't decided what to do with the ball he was lucky enough to get at Saturday's game at the Rogers Centre.

Tilley was sitting near the Toronto Blue Jays' bullpen with his three-year-old son, Matthew, when the New York Yankee hit the left-field foul pole for a fourth-inning home run to pass Mickey Mantle for 13th on baseball's all-time list.

Jays' bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos saw Tilley's son and tossed it up to them.

"I couldn't believe it," Tilley told the New York Post.

Tilley wasn't sure if it was the ball Rodriguez hit, but people seated around them said it was. As it turned out, the proof was on the ball -- yellow paint marks from the foul pole.

A Yankees' security official approached him later and offered to have him meet Rodriguez, take a picture with him and get a signed game bat -- presumably as part of some sort of exchange for the ball -- but Tilley declined.

The 36-year-old Tilley, who is in merchandising, is going to ask somebody who understands the market what the Rodriguez ball is worth before deciding what to do with the souvenir.

The home-run ball Rodriguez hit to tie Mantle on July 6 is apparently worth between $20,000 and $25,000, the Post reported. Rodriguez has that ball. The ball Tilley has may be worth between $10,000 and $15,000.

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