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Exclusive: Dodger Fan Who Caught Shohei Ohtani Home Run Says She Was Pressured to Give Up Ball

Ambar Roman has been to plenty of Dodger games in the past. The Whittier resident said she goes to 5 to 6 games every season, sometimes in the right pavilion, but not always. She had never had caught a ball before Wednesday.

Then, in a matter of seconds, one ball landed at her feet and changed her life.

In an exclusive interview with Dodgers Nation’s Doug McKain, Roman discussed the unusual evening that transpired after she wound up with Shohei Ohtani’s first regular season home run as a Dodger on Wednesday night.

“Friends and family of ours that were at home watching the game, they saw it all go down,” Roman said. “They saw us on TV. Right away we were getting texts, calls from everybody.”

The fun part was over almost as soon as it began.

“Security came up and hand-signaled me to go to them. At first I’m thinking I did something wrong,” Roman said. “They said ‘no, we want to reward you for catching the ball.’ … They took us down to right next to the bullpen, the gate, to go in there. That’s where they had us. At that point they didn’t allow my husband or the friend that we were with to go with me. They said they had to stay back.”

It’s standard procedure for Dodger Stadium security to ask any fan who catches a significant home run ball what they would want in exchange for the ball.

Roman said she asked the security guard at the scene if he could have Ohtani autograph the ball so she could keep it.

“And they were like no, if you’re going to keep it, he’s not willing to sign for it and we won’t authenticate it for you,” Roman said.

Typically Major League Baseball – not the home team – employs at least two authenticators on-site at every game for the purpose of authenticating game balls and other on-field objects, so long as their chain of custody can be verified.

“That’s when I asked, ‘what is he willing to trade me for it?’ At first what they offered was two signed baseball caps,” Roman said. “I asked, ‘what else can I get?’ That’s when they threw in a bat and another ball.”

Roman asked if she could meet Ohtani. She was told that wasn’t possible, and the two never met.

Ohtani was later quoted in the English-language media as saying he met with Roman after the game. However, Japanese reporters on-site said Ohtani never specified whether he spoke to the fan personally or whether the team spoke to the fan.

Since less historic Ohtani memorabilia routinely auctions for four figures, some experts have speculated the ball Roman caught would have been worth six figures. Roman said she doesn’t regret the terms of her exchange.

“As far as regrets, I honestly don’t regret it,” she said. “Just the experience of it all, as a lifetime Dodger fan, that meant so much. I’m really grateful with what I got. … It makes you think damn, did I really miss out on those hundred thousand dollars but what’s done is done.

“As a Dodger fan, I expected maybe a little bit more warmth, I should say, from them,” Roman said. “But it was just really sad I needed to make a decision right then and there.”

Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY Network

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JP Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra writes and edits Major League Baseball content for and is the author of 'The 50 Greatest Dodger Games Of All Time.' He once recorded a keyboard solo on the same album as two of the original Doors. Follow at


  1. This stinks all the way to Vin Scully’s Press Box .. ! It now appears the Twisted Sisters Curse is alive and well at Dodger Stadium . The Fan is really Who the Dodgers are , without them Dodger Stadium would become just another Land Fill .

  2. The fan is upset that she was “pressured” into giving up a ball that was significant to a player. Sounds like the only “pressure” was that the Dodgers didn’t give her more for the ball. Here are the choices: Either keep the ball and then see how much you can get for it or Give up the ball. But my goodness, don’t whine about not being treated right because you didn’t get your way.

  3. The Dodgers need to show this young lady some respect. It’s very unprofessional to not allow her husband to accompany her
    along with security in order to make sure that they didn’t take advantage of her.
    As if the players, and owners don’t make enough $$$$$$$. The least they could have done was offer her tickets to all home games
    for her and her husband.
    I’m sure they will never step foot in that stadium ever again.

    1. I find it amazing that this interview was done in the first place by Doug. Trying to make it a controversy.

  4. The ball is thought to be worth at least $100,000.

    She pressured to give it up for abo0ut $5,000 worth of stuff.

    Talk about a highway robbery!

    I think a big lawsuit is in order.

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