Dodgers fan who caught Shohei Ohtani’s first home-run ball claims she was PRESSURED by team to give $100,000 item back after LA ‘threatened not to authenticate it’ for potential sale



A lifelong LA Dodgers fan who caught Shohei Ohtani’s first home-run ball for the team claims she was pressured into handing the $100,000 item back to him.  Ohtani finally got off the mark for the Dodgers on Wednesday night, with the $700million recruit’s first home run on his ninth LA outing sealing a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants.

After leaving his bat at 105.6mph and landing 430 feet away in the crowd, Dodgers fan Ambar Roman, 28, managed to retrieve it while her husband and many others were searching for it on the ground.  There are few more prestigious items for a baseball fan to get their hands on than Ohtani’s first homer ball in LA. The two-way sensation is now the biggest star in the sport by some distance after signing his record $700m deal with the Dodgers in December.  However, in an interview with The Athletic, Roman explained how her jackpot moment quickly turned sour.

OHTANI1FIA lifelong LA Dodgers fan who caught Shohei Ohtani’s first home-run ball for the team claims she was pressured into handing the $100,000 item back to him

FANS DODGERSAmbar Roman, 28, claims she was virtually forced to give the ball back to LA officials

Straight after Ohtani’s home run, Dodgers security staff are said to have swarmed Roman and her husband Alexis Valenzuela, with other fans in close proximity urging them to not give up the ball easily.  Security told the couple they would ‘reward them’ for catching the ball, with give-and-take negotiations between fans and players looking to retrieve meaningful objects custom in the sport.

Yet after being separated from Valenzuela, Roman says she was then pressured into handing the ball over after LA officials, who resorted to ruthless measures to get it back for Ohtani.  One of those tactics included the threat of refusing to authenticate it, a move which would render the ball – which is valued at a minimum of $100,000 – worthless if she chose to take it home and sell it.

They also dangled two Dodgers caps signed by Ohtani in front of Roman, before she eventually accepted a trade which also included a signed bat and ball. The five items she left with are understood to be worth a combined $5,000.  ‘We’re not trying to extort anyone. It’s not that we’re money hungry,’ Valenzuela said. ‘It’s just that it’s a special moment, it’s a special ball. I just think it’s fair for it to be equally rewarded.

‘I was just disappointed that a team that I hold so dear pulled a quote-unquote quick one on us.’  After the game, Ohtani is quoted as saying through his interpreter that he had managed to get his first Dodgers homer ball back after speaking with Roman himself.

OHTANI1FIOhtani also claimed to have spoken with Roman before getting it back, which she denied

‘I was able to talk to the fan, and was able to get it back,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘Obviously it’s a very special ball, a lot of feelings toward it, I’m very grateful that it’s back.’  According to Roman, though, they never met LA’s new two-way sensation on the night. It is unclear whether Ohtani’s interpreter mistranslated his comments.  Instead, she was ushered into a room without her husband and forced into the trade after being left with no other option but to accept the Dodgers’ offer.

‘They really took advantage of her,’ Valenzuela said. ‘There were a bunch of (security) guys around her. They wouldn’t let me talk to her or give her any advice. There was no way for us to leave. They had her pretty much cornered in the back.’  The Dodgers are said to be open to a ‘further conversation’ with Roman about the transaction. has reached out to the team for comment.

In a memorabilia store at their ballpark, a foul ball Ohtani hit back in 2021 is reportedly on sale for a whopping $15,000 – speaking volumes about the amount Roman could have generated by flogging his first home-run ball.  According to Chris Ivey, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions, it would command a fee of at least $100,000.

Though without authentication or confirmation that Ohtani signed it, which Roman did not obtain, a sale of that size would not be possible.  Roman and Valenzuela, who met in college and work together at a pipeline company, purchased their tickets for the game in the pavilion, which is a regular spot for the couple.

Despite agreeing with fans who appreciated their selfless gesture to ensure Ohtani kept his memento ball, Valenzuela says they were more disappointed by the aggressive treatment from their beloved team before doing so.  ‘Where was the Dodger love that we see every day, every time we go,’ he added. ‘It just disappeared.  ‘We were kind of left stranded. It’s not necessarily that we wanted a million. Just something nice. Take care of your fans. Especially when they got something that’s way more valuable.’


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