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Bryce Harper's Home Run Derby ball pulled from auction, then given to him

Major League Baseball put the ball that Bryce Harper hit to win the Home Run Derby up for auction but then had a change of heart on Monday.

The ball hit by the Washington Nationals outfielder to win the contest in front of his hometown crowd at Nationals Park on July 16 had a bid of $7,020 Monday afternoon. The bidding was set to end at 9:59 p.m. ET on Monday night, but MLB Auctions sent out an email to bidders calling off the event.

"This email is to notify you that this listing has been pulled from MLB Auctions and is no longer eligible for sale," it read. "We're appreciative of Bryce's participation in the Derby, so we've decided to remove the ball from the auction site and give it to him."

The ball had some historical significance. Harper had joined Todd Frazier of the Reds in 2015 and Cubs great Ryne Sandberg in 1990 as the only players to win the Home Run Derby at their home parks.

To pull off the feat, Harper had to mount an improbable comeback. With less than a minute left in the final round, the Nats slugger trailed Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs 18-9. Then, with AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" blaring throughout the stadium, Harper sent eight straight offerings and nine of 10 from his father over the fence to tie it up. On his second swing of bonus time, which he earned by belting a 473-foot shot in regulation, Harper hit No. 19 to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

MLB spokesman David Hochman said the league was able to obtain the ball because it landed in a secure area in center field where an authenticator was stationed.

The enthusiasm for Harper's feat was amplified by the fact that he will become a free agent after this season, leading to speculation that this could be his final season in Washington.

ESPN's Eddie Matz contributed to this report.