NEW YORK (AP) — The 12-year-old fan who retrieved Alex Rodriguez's record 24th career grand slam ball from the stands at Yankee Stadium says he gave it back because he felt the slugger had "worked hard" for the feat and deserved it.
Steven Gieseler Jr., of East Islip, scooped the ball from beneath a seat as Rodriguez rounded the bases in a game against the Giants on Sept. 20.
The slam allowed Rodriguez to break a record held by Steven's all-time favorite Yankee, Lou Gehrig.
But the middle schooler tells Newsday (http://bit.ly/1bgfp48) that when a security official approached him and said Rodriguez wanted the ball, he had no problem turning it over.
He said, "It's the player's accomplishment."
Rodriguez met with the youth after the game and gave him an autographed bat and ball.