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Meet the fan who caught Aaron Judge’s 60th homer

The historic home run ball that tied Babe Ruth isn’t going to auction.

It went back to Aaron Judge.

Mike Kessler, the man who caught it, made sure of that.

“I gave it back to Aaron,” Kessler told The Post after snaring Judge’s 60th home run in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ come-from-behind 9-8 win over the Pirates at the Stadium.

Well, maybe less of a catch than a dive and cover.

“It bounced off someone’s hand. I reached and grabbed it and just bear-hugged it,” Kessler told The Post. “I just smothered it. It got off to the side. It was a mad pile.”

Understandably so.

The ball could end up being worth anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 as a collectable, according to Darren Rovell of The Action Network. Judge’s next two home run balls — the 61st to tie Roger Maris’ American League record and the 62nd to break it — stand to be worth even more. But Kessler — a Judge fan clad in a gray road No. 22 Yankees jersey — wanted the slugger to have it.

Aaron Judge poses for a picture with with a smiling Michael Kessler (to Judge's right) and his friends after Judge hit his 60th homer in the Yankees' 9-8 comeback win.
Aaron Judge poses for a picture with with a smiling Michael Kessler (to Judge’s right) and his friends after Judge hit his 60th homer in the Yankees’ 9-8 comeback win.
Photo courtesy of Michael Kessler.

“I’m sure it hasn’t processed yet,” Kessler told The Post. “I can’t put it into words just yet.”

Yankee Stadium security descended on Kessler quickly, and he willingly gave the ball up.

A 20-year-old from Port Chester, Kessler was in the right place at the right time. He doesn’t have Yankees season tickets, but he and three other schoolmates from CCNY just decided to take in Tuesday’s game.

Aaron Judge celebrates after his historic home run.
Aaron Judge celebrates after his historic home run.
Getty Images

“We just purchased tickets [Tuesday],” Kessler said.

In the end, they got signed balls and a group photo with Judge. Kessler also got a signed bat, a handshake and a one-on-one photo with Judge, along with a quick meet-and-greet with the Yankees star.

It’s unclear what they talked about; but in a video posted by ESPN he claimed he had a message for the free agent-to-be:

“Try anything to come back next year,” Kessler said. “You’re the heart and soul of this ballclub.”

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