Gary Sheffield became the first player to hit his 500th home run as a Met and was warmly embraced by the team and the fans. It’s clear that the fans are charged up when Sheffield comes to the plate and the opposing teams respect his ability. We still need to see some consistent production over time if Sheffield is going to maintain his spot on the Mets roster this season. But I’d say that he’s off to a good start.
Chris Matcovich was the one that caught the ball and promptly returned it to Sheffield. He didn’t even request anything of Sheffield. But he did get some signed jerseys for him and his friends and Sheffield plans to give him some autographed bats in exchange for the milestone ball.
It’s good to see the ball returned to Sheffield. My view on these things is that if you catch a historic ball you should give it to the player or the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I understand that some people may need the money that could come from auctioning these valuable souvenirs and I don’t take that lightly. But if you’re in a resonably sound financial position, the fact is that the ball is more important to the player or the HOF than it is to you.
“I wanted nothing but to just give it back to Gary,” Matcovich said. “It was his ball. It’s not mine.”
And on a night full of exceptional memories — and an eventual 5-4 Mets win — this is one Sheffield won’t soon forget.
“That was special of him to do that,” Sheffield said. “He didn’t have to do that. But I’m appreciative that he did.”