NY Yankees’ Fan Recipient of This Rare, Surprising Act of Kindness
A baseball fan gives a younger baseball fan a souvenir ball that they caught themselves. It's a tale as old as time among baseball fans, and it happened last night in Toronto.
Sadly, these acts of kindness in the stands of professional sporting events are becoming fewer, and farther between. It's increasingly rare to see fans interacting with one another, sharing souvenirs, and other acts of common decency that were commonplace for so long.
Last night, however, that trend was bucked by a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, and younger fan of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees.
Blue Jays' Fan Makes Aaron Judge Fan's Day with a Souvenir Ball
It's the top half of the sixth inning in Tuesday night's Yankees' game, and New York is trailing Toronto by a score of 1-0. There are two outs, and Aaron Judge is awaiting a full-count pitch from Blue Jays' starter, Alek Manoah. Manoah had been unstoppable to that point, and the Yankees' winning streak was hanging the balance.
Manoah delivered, Judge swung, and a few seconds later, the ball was sitting in the second deck of the Rogers' Centre outfield grandstand.
Judge had hit a monster home run, and tied the game at one. As is customary on home run balls, fans scrambled to find the loose baseball in the stands. A bespectacled Blue Jays' fan, wearing a black hat and grey quarter-zip sweatshirt, picked up the ball, and immediately looked behind him.
What happened next was amazing:
Here's another view:
And, here's a longer version that the MLB posted on their YouTube:
That kid's day, week, month and year have officially been made. It's an incredible act of kindness, and one that will solidify that kid's love for baseball for a while.
I just wish we saw more of this.
Why Can't More Sports Fans Be Like This?
On The Drive, Charlie and I discussed the incident during which New York Yankees' fans threw beer cans and refuse onto the field after the team beat the Cleveland Guardians. While it wasn't a direct shot at any fanbase, it was a commentary on how sports fandom has changed.
We received an interesting note through the 104.5 The Team app on it, as well:
"It’s sad & scary the level of bitterness and hostility it seems people are displaying everywhere in recent years. The frustrations are being displayed at sporting events that are supposed to be fun and safe for people and their families and a chance to escape the troubles in the world for just a few hours."
This was from Tony in Vermont, and he brings up an interesting point.
You see far less of what happened in the outfield stands in Toronto last night. Sports fandom is meant to be fun, and meant to be a shared experience that brings strangers together. It's meant as a source of fun and relief, not of more stress than you're already dealing with.
So, next time you're at the ballpark, enjoy it, and try to help those around you enjoy it just as much as you are.
*Dan steps down from his soap box*