Ethics Hero: Scott Steffel

Only 8 players in Major League Baseball history had hit 600 home runs, and last weekend the number became 9 as Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols reached the impressive milestone with a grand slam in the fourth inning of the June 3 game in Anaheim. Cal State Fullerton student Scott Steffel, a 23-year-old lifelong Angels fan, caught the ball in his glove. Such a souvenir is a collector’s dream, and catching it a baseball fan’s once-in-a-lifetime dream-come-true.

Yet Scott Steffel gave the ball back to Albert Pujols, the man who hit it. He didn’t ask for money or a truck-load of autographed bats and gloves.   He didn’t think about how much money Pujols had )millions and millions) and that the ball was figuratively made of gold. He just gave it back, saying that he didn’t feel it belonged to him, but Pujols:

“It’s not my ball, it’s his. He deserves it. He’s one of the best baseball players right now. Of all time.”



Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Heroes, Sports

16 responses to “Ethics Hero: Scott Steffel

  1. charlesgreen

    Awesome. Restores some faith. Good on him.

  2. Rip

    Uplifting, needed that!

  3. A home run ball belongs to the fan. It’s great of Mr. Steffel to give it to Pujols, who has a very good reputation in baseball. I expect that Pujols will compensate Mr. Steffel in a nice way, but a home run ball belongs to the fan.

    • Well, sure, legally. This fan is making an ethical determination. And he’s right. The player made the ball special. The fan’s claim is based on possession and tradition only.

    • Well, sure, legally. This fan is making an ethical determination. And he’s right. The player made the ball special. The fan’s claim is based on possession and tradition only.

  4. Rick M.

    The ball is yours if it goes into the stands. You can sell it, eat it, keep it or simply give it away. Those who give it away come in two categories: The first is the handing of the ball to a little kid close by. And the second is what did young man did. The ball was certainly his, but the situation called for more and he responded correctly.

    • dragin_dragon

      My hope is that Pujols also responds correctly. That said, he has a good reputation in baseball, so I expect his (purely voluntary) response to be slightly massive. I will be disappointed if it isn’t. Steffel, at 23, has demonstrated a remarkable ethic. Pujols needs to respond in kind.

      • Rick M.

        I have no doubt he will. I would also not be surprised if it was rather generious.

      • I was once part of a team of experts waiting by the phone (for hours) while a friend was being taped as a contestant on “Who wants to be a Millionaire.” We got the call, too. And gave our friend the answer that won him $250, 000. He quit after that, and took the cash.

        Can you guess what he gave the team members as tokens of gratitude?

        • Mrs. Q

          I’m guessing your friend didn’t give you guys anything. If so, was the team angry, or was the good deed y’all preformed enough?

          • Mrs. Q

            Performed not preformed.

          • Oh, no, we were all sent the same gift, and the consensus was that nothing would have been less insulting. Since we did it out of friendship, everyone was also in agreement that we weren’t in it for rewards or a cut. Everyone also weighed in on what we would have done if the situation was reversed.

            If a group of friends contributed their time to help me win a quarter millions dollars, I would give each one $10,000. Ethically, it’s a no-brainer.

  5. Steve-O-in-NJ

    The guy did get to meet and take a picture with Pujols, and from where I stand, that’s compensation enough.

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