Albert Pujols 2,000th-RBI ball: Tigers fan changes mind, decides to give ball to Angels slugger

Angels slugger Albert Pujols recently notched his 2,000th career RBI thanks to a home run in Comerica Park against the Tigers. As noted in this space, a Tigers fan named Ely Hydes retrieved the milestone baseball and opted to keep it rather than give it Pujols in exchange for the usual haul of a signed bat and the like. Hydes arrived at this decision despite entreaties from both clubs and seemingly despite his insistence that he wasn't interested in getting any money for the ball. Rather, Hydes said he would give it to his brother, a Cardinals fan, or his unborn child. 

Well, it seems Mr. Hydes took some time to think about things and had a change of heart. Here's the scoop from Tony Paul of the Detroit News

One day later, given some time to think it over, Hydes said he has changed his mind. He plans to give the ball to Pujols or the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

"I slept on it," Hydes told The Detroit News over the phone on Friday night. "All I ever wanted was to sleep on it. I slept on it and I woke up and I think (Pujols) is a class act.

"He's not my player, he's not my guy, I don't deserve the ball.

"I reconsidered. One-hundred percent, I'm either going to give it to Pujols or to the Hall of Fame."

And before you ask, no, this isn't a cash grab.

"I don't want any money," Hydes said.

For what's it worth, Pujols not long after initially learning he wouldn't receive the ball, didn't seem to be overly concerned: 

Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Pujols, informed of the change of heart, says he no longer wants the ball: 

"If he doesn't want the ball,'' Pujols said, "he can give the ball to Cooperstown. Hopefully then, everyone will be happy.

"But I don't want it. He deserves it. It's his decision.''

One issue, however, is that MLB was not able to authenticate the ball following the home run, so it's possible Cooperstown -- where Pujols will one day have a plaque -- may not want the ball, either. In that case Hydes may be "stuck" with it. At that point, who knows. 

Paul's story has more, including how much one Angels fan reportedly offered Hydes for the ball.  

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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