Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 4/19/13
CINCINNATI The Boston Red Sox had Teddy Ballgame (Ted Williams) hitting home runs for them and the Cincinnati Reds have Teddy Kremer asking for home runs.And he is getting them.Last year Kremer was batboy for a day for the Reds and asked for a few home runs and the Reds gave him seven.He was back Thursday night for a game with the Miami Marlins, again asking for home runs and when he asked Todd Frazier to hit one for him, Frazier drilled one over the right field wall to ignite an 11-1 victory.Teddy reacted with unbridled glee. He raced to home plate and fist-bumped Frazier and ran back to the dugout with him.He forgot one thing. He forgot Fraziers bat. Home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth called him back and Teddy retrieved the bat. And it wasnt the first time he forgot to remove a used bat. Several times when the Reds scored a run, Teddy was at home plate to greet baserunners and forgot the bat.Nobody minded. Not even Culbreth, who had to remind Teddy a few times.Teddy, you see, is special. Teddy has Downs Syndrome.The thing about Teddys home run request was that in Fraziers previous at-bat he struck out, but Teddy was ready.He tapped me on the shoulder and said, Its all right. I still love you. Youll be fine. How can you be mad after any at bat with something like that? Actually, he kind of relaxed me.But it still took Frazier by surprise before his next at-bat.I was standing on the steps before I went on deck because I was up third, said Frazier. He said, Cmon, brother, I love you. Hit me a home run. And I said, You got it, not really thinking anything about it. With the wind blowing in real hard I didnt think I had a shot, Frazier added. I hit it and when I hit second base I realized it really did happen. I knew he would be waiting for me. It was special, touches your heart, makes you realize there is more to life than baseball in general. He had a big smile and gave me a big bear hug.Teddy had two other requests. When Reds pitchers strike out 11 or more batters, fans get free pizza.Teddy loves pizza and he kept saying, Lets get 11 strikeouts, said manager Dusty Baker.That request, too, was fulfilled. In the ninth inning, Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hover struck out Chris Valaika, the 11th strikeout of the night. And there was one more thing. He told me before the game that he wanted 11 runs, said Baker. Doggone if we didnt do that, too.After the game, Teddy was on the field with the rest of the team as they celebrated. Second baseman Brandon Phillips put his arm around Teddys waist and Teddy put his arm around Brandons waist and they walked hip-to-hip to the dugout.Being a mascot-type isnt new to Teddy. A few years ago he roamed the sidelines during football games at prep powerhouse Cincinnati Colerain, wearing a sweat shirt that read, Twelth Man.And he had practice at soothing things over, as he did with Frazier after the strikeout.At one Colerain game, kicker Brad Schutte missed an extra point and the Cardinals lost a regional final game by one point to Elder. While everybody stayed clear of Schutte, Teddy walked up to him and uttered words of encouragment, accompanied by one of his bear hugs.When Teddy was picked to be a batboy last year via an auction, the Reds were unaware that he was a Downs Syndrome victim until he walked into the clubhouse.There was concern.But Luke Stowe, a clubhouse attendant and the son of clubhouse manager Rick Stowe, took Teddy around and came back to report to his father, Hes great. There will be no problems. This kid is perfect.Said Rick Stowe, He knew every players name. He knew (batting coach) Brook Jacoby. He is upbeat and positive about everything.So did he ask any other players to hit home runs for him.He didnt ask me, said Brandon Phillips.He asked me, said Xavier Paul. But I didnt come through.And Teddy said, Thats OK, youll do it next time.Said Frazier, Ill bet he went to bed pretty happy. I know I did. It was very cool.
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