Baseball Hall of Fame 'grateful' for Ely Hydes' donation; baseball to be displayed right away
The National Baseball Hall of Fame says it will soon display the historic Albert Pujols baseball recently donated by a Tigers fan in the Los Angeles Angels' portion of its "Locker Room" exhibit.
The "Locker Room" exhibit contains recently acquired artifacts for all 30 teams.
Ely Hydes, a 33-year-old Wayne State law student, was at Comerica Park in early May when he caught a Pujols home run hit into the left-field seats. That ball signified Pujols' 2,000th RBI, making the slugger only officially the third member of the exclusive club.
After some haggling with Tigers security officials, trying to get the ball back for Pujols in exchange for some swag and a meet-and-greet, Hydes decided to hold onto the baseball and consider his options.
Earlier this summer, spurning significant cash offers, he decided to donate it to the Hall of Fame in memory of his late son, Cyrus Arlo Maloney, who died at 21 months old in June 2018. He had developed an infection.
Hydes' wife Lauren, newborn daughter Violet Moon and several friends and family members of Hydes made the trip to Cooperstown last month to deliver the baseball.
"The National Baseball Hall of Fame was pleased to meet Ely Hydes and his family last month when he donated the home run ball hit by Albert Pujols to drive in his 2,000th career run," the Hall of Fame said in a statement to The News this week. "The ball, which will be preserved forever as part of our Museum collection, will soon be placed on display in the Los Angeles Angels case within our Locker Room exhibit.
"We are grateful to Ely for his generosity to the Hall of Fame and our mission to preserve the national pastime’s history."
During his visit to Cooperstown, Hydes was given a tour of the Hall of Fame, including into the catacombs, where undisplayed memorabilia is stored. He also met with new president Tim Mead.
The Hall of Fame gave Hydes lifetime admission into the Hall of Fame museum.
The baseball wasn't officially authenticated by Major League Baseball, but its authenticity isn't in doubt, given that it has a green smudge from where it hit the seats.