There's a controversy over who was really in possession of Rizzo's first home run ball. From the video it appears that it hits the top of the out of town scoreboard and stays there. No one actually caught it, so the photo caption on the Padres Facebook page is incorrect:
Anthony Rizzo meets Nina Magliozzi, the lucky fan who caught his first career home run ball. She was nice enough to give him his milestone ball, and got a signed bat in return.
I had heard yesterday that a Guest Services Representative (GSR) was the one that retrieved the ball from the top of the out of town scoreboard, but now a different story has surfaced.
On the San Diego Padres Facebook page a fan is saying that he's the one that retrieved the ball and the Padres staff member took it from him so that it could be given to Rizzo. Now he's upset that the Padres are making it appear that another, more photogenic, fan was the one who caught the ball and she is being rewarded instead of him.
I also heard that the young lady, Nina, was just given the ball to hold for the television cameras. If that's the case then there would be no reason for her to get an autographed bat unless it was just for another photo opportunity.
We will make an attempt to talk to Max to get the full story.
[UPDATE, 06/12/11 5:43 PM PDT ]
Okay, so here's how I understand it now. Max jumped over the wall, which isn't allowed at Petco Park. The GSR took the ball from him because he obtained it by jumping the wall For whatever reason the GSR then gave it to Nina as a souvenir because he supposedly didn't know the importance of the ball. At that point the ball became Nina's property. She made it very clear to Rizzo and the Padres that she did not catch or retrieve the ball, that it was simply given to her. The Padres and Rizzo only cared about getting the ball back, so they traded her the signed bat, which is standard operating procedure. The Padres said they attempted to email Max after he made his posts on Facebook so they could just to settle the issue, but he has not responded to them yet.
[UPDATE, 06/14/11 12:46 PM PDT ]