In a heartwarming story, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans reports on how Ted Kremer reprised his role a Cincinnati Reds honorary batboy on Thursday night for the team’s game against the Miami Marlins at the Great American Ball Park.
Kremer, a fascinating young man with Down Syndrome, became a hero in Cincinnati late in the 2012 season, when he served as batboy on Aug. 17 after his parents won an online auction, once again served in the same capacity for Thursday night’s game. If Kremer return wasn’t a great enough of a story in and of itself, something else happened during the game that makes Kremer’s experience at the ball park that much sweeter. And we that much luckier for hearing about it.
During the sixth inning of Cincinnati’s 11-1 win, Kremer asked third baseman Todd Frazier to hit a home run. Frazier obliged.
Frazier explained what Kremer said to him before he took his spot in the batter’s box after the game: “He’s so funny, he said, ‘C’mon, hit me a home run, I love you.’ I said, ‘I love you too, I’ll hit you one.”
And here’s what Frazier did (via MLB.com):
A 421-foot blast. Saying afterward, “It was pretty special and something I’ll always remember, because he’s such a nice guy,” Frazier knew what was waiting for him once he reached home plate.
“It was great how excited — that look,” Frazier said. “I started smiling even before I hit home plate because I knew it. They said he forgot to pick the bat up, so the umpire was yelling at him. It was such a great a great guy. You can’t get mad — even if you have a terrible day. How can you be mad when you’ve got a guy like that around?”
Reds manager Dusty Baker also said that Kremer also was hoping that the Reds pitching staff notched 11 strikeouts. In doing so, fans would receive free pizza from the restaurant LaRosa’s. The Reds came up big on that score as well, getting 12 strikeouts in the blowout victory. Said Baker: “He kept saying, we’ve got to get 11. He loves that pizza.”
Both Frazier and Kremer were interviewed following the game:
Kremer has become such an inspirational figure not only for the Reds but for fans in and around Cincinnati, as a Facebook page, “Ted Kremer for Permanent Cincinnati Reds Batboy,” previously was launched.
Just a great story.
[H/T Hardball Talk, image via Facebook]
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