Frankie Lasagna, who is a real person, almost caught Aaron Judge’s 61st home run

Catching an iconic home run ball is winning the sports lottery. In one, mildly-athletic moment you’ve won a piece of history that someone is going to pay an absurd amount for at auction, and at the very least you’re going to be showered in lavish gifts from the team trying to get it back for their player.

So, when Aaron Judge’s 61st home run of the season went flying towards the stands in Toronto it was one man’s time, a moment to shine. Glove in hand, he stretched over the Jays’ dugout, only to see the ball bounce a little low and fall to the ground below. Don’t feel too bad though, because this man’s name is FRANKIE LASAGNA.

Lasagna, which I need to believe is a family surname, was surprisingly chill about the whole thing.

“Two more feet and I would have had it,” he said. “I needed a fishing net and I would have got it.”

The ball was eventually retrieved by Jays’ reliever Jordan Romano. Romano, it should be noted, is a good finishing cheese for the top of a lasagna. The ball made it back to Judge, and Lasagna was left wondering what could have been.

“The disbelief comes over you and just the shock and the amazement,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I almost had it.’”

Frankie Lasagna, owner of an Italian restaurant in Toronto, didn’t plan to hold the ball hostage. He says if he caught the ball he would have given it back to Judge, though he notes he might have asked the Yankees’ outfielder to come visit his restaurant. Sure, Lasagna was frustrated — but on the plus side everyone in the world now knows there is an Italian restaurant owner named “Frankie Lasagna,” who somehow isn’t an old-timey mobster with a penchant for burying bodies in layers.

On the one hand I legitimately feel bad for Frankie Lasagna. Catching the ball could have been life-changing. On the other, his name is still Frankie Lasagna — so he’s winning at life.

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