LOS ANGELES — Roofing contractors didn’t expect to be the center of the attention when the Los Angeles Dodgers took on their crosstown rival Angels over the weekend at Dodger Stadium, but that changed quickly with one swing of Shohei Ohtani’s bat.

The Dodger superstar clubbed a mammoth home run into the right-center bleachers during the Dodgers 7-2 victory Saturday and into an eager crowd of roofing contractors attending the game as part of GAF’s West Latinos in Roofing Summit and Expo in downtown L.A.

A roof installer in his 30s from Southern California who later posed for photos but declined to give his name muscled his way to secure the home run ball and joined everyone around him in a jubilant celebration of the game-changing moment. GAF-Latino-Shohei-Ohtani-Home-Run_2.jpg

Once the excitement faded, a new realization honed in on the man as dozens of fans converged around him for a glimpse of the ball, and perhaps a chance with fate. Ohtani, just 29 years old and only in his sixth season, is already the most prolific Japanese-born home run hitter in Major League Baseball history.

As a dominant two-way player – though he isn’t pitching this season due to injury – “Shotime” is on pace for the Hall-of-Fame and is one of the most famous athletes on the planet. He signed a record 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers over the winter. The ball now in the roofer’s pocket had much more than just sentimental value going for it.

Several roofing contractors sitting around him began to fend off hovering fans and counseled him on how to handle offers to buy the home run ball, which was hit a whopping 459 feet surpassing the 455-foot bomb Ohtani smacked the night before. 

“I told him that (Ohtani) was a sensation in Japan and he recently signed a $700 million contract,” said roofer Adan Gudino, with Heavenly Roofing in Ephrata, Wash. “So I said 'Don’t sell, hold onto it and it might be worth so much more later.' It was awesome and sad at the same time, because I’m not who grabbed it. But I was happy for the guy.” 

The ball’s true value is undeterminable now and relies on several factors due to Ohtani’s progressing career trajectory, but it’s sure to have substantial worth given his enormous potential. 

His first home run ball hit as a Dodger earlier this season had an estimated value of $100,000, according to published reports. The woman who got it handed it back to the Dodgers in exchange for a pair of autographed hats, an autographed bat and autographed ball. Fan backlash after reports of the “low-ball” exchange became public prompted the team to invite the woman back to Dodger Stadium for a meet-and-greet with the Dodgers designated hitter

There will be no need for that, according to people that spoke to the roofer in Spanish, who indicated he’d keep the ball. 

Check out the home run in the highlight below: