Ransom notes for milestone baseballs make it to the minor leagues (pic)
Usually in professional baseball, when things trend upward, it’s typically considered a good thing. Prospects getting called up generally is viewed as a positive, while struggling players being sent down to the minors for more seasoning, etc. is usually deemed to be an unfortunate sign.
In the case of ransom notes for milestone baseballs making their way down to the minor leagues? Well, that’s a great development.
Such is the case thanks to catching prospect Wes Wilson and his Class A Advanced teammates with the Tampa Yankees, as his wisenheimer clubhouse comrades decided to hold his first professional home run ball for ransom.
Wilson enjoyed a spectacular game Thursday in the team’s 5-4 victory over the Bradenton Marauders. Not only did he catch a grueling 15 innings, he then pitched two perfect innings before hitting a go-ahead home run it the 17th inning.
Wilson’s milestone home run ball ended up in the hands of a fan who exchanged it for a bunch of balls with pitcher Chris Smith and the reset of the fellows in the Tampa bullpen. And now, much like what occurred to Cleveland Indians first baseman Brandon Moss and his 100th home run ball, Wilson is now being coerced into paying up to procure the coveted item.
The thing is, this is the minor leagues, where the stakes for such an exchange aren’t quite as high as they are in the big leagues. The Indians bullpen guys demanded a ton of pricey Apple products, with one of them requesting a 50-gallon drum of lube, of all things.
The items contained in the ransom note for Wilson’s ball had a very minor league-kind of vibe. To wit (via MiLB.com):
Now in his fifth year of pro ball, Wilson apparently will get the ball back when he purchases several items for his colleagues including 10 shares in Apple for Smith, a steak dinner for Alex Smith, new shoes for Gio Gallergos, a Chinese dinner for Luis Niebla and Pro VI golf balls for Evan Rutckyj. Higashioka asked for new Lulu wardrobe, left-hander Eric Wooten told him he’s better at pitching than giving stock tips and Phelps asked him to catch more side sessions.
Wilson later shared a photo of said ransom note:
Ransom note from the pitching staff after tonight's win. Gonna be a tall task to get that home run ball back. pic.twitter.com/u8nvouiG2r
— Wes Wilson (@wtwilson5) June 19, 2015
A tall task, indeed.