Dodgers pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani is not having the easiest start to the 2024 season.

After signing a landmark ten-year, $700 million dollar contract this off-season, it has been a tumultuous go of things in Los Angeles since. First was the allegations of gambling that led the Dodgers to fire Ohtani's interpreter. Now, a home run ball has some fans calling the Dodgers cheap.

Ohtani hit his first home run as a Dodger on April 3 in a game against the San Francisco Giants. When it landed in the right field stands, it ended up with Dodgers fan Ambar Roman.

As you can see in the video below, she was pretty happy to have caught the long ball.

But that is when the problems started.

Roman claims that she was then pulled from the stands alone, separated from her husband and offered two signed hats in return for the ball. Roman claims that the Dodgers would not verify the ball if Roman would not trade. If the ball was not verified, the resale value of the home run ball would be much lower, according to experts who have pegged the value of the ball at possibly $100,000.

Roman ended up taking the offer of two signed hats, a signed bat and a signed ball. She and her husband are now criticizing the Dodgers for the lowball offer and for splitting the couple up and pushing for a quick decision, which put her on the spot.

The Dodgers are not the first team to run into issues with retrieving home run balls: In 1998, Mark McGwire hit his 70th home run, establishing a new record. The ball was caught by Phil Ozersky who was approached by the Cardinals about getting it back, offering a signed bat, ball and jersey.

Ozersky said he would give the ball back, but also wanted to meet McGwire. The Cardinals and McGwire said no, and Ozersky kept the ball and later sold it for a record 3 million dollars.

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