BRONX, N.Y. — When the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays last met in Toronto, a heartwarming baseball moment happened in the stands. A Blue Jays fan Mike Lanzillotta snagged a sixth-inning home run ball hit by Aaron Judge and rather than throwing it back onto the field of play, gave it to Derek Rodriguez, 9, who also happens to be a huge Judge and Yankees fan.
When a Toronto Blue Jay fan caught a home run ball hit by Yankee star Aaron Judge, he unexpectedly handed it to a 9-year-old fan of Judge who was overwhelmed with tears by the kind gesture. pic.twitter.com/5QVb7RTWmg
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 7, 2022
As you well know by now the moment got even cooler as Rodriguez was able to meet Judge the following day in the Yankees dugout, where the two chatted and Judge added to the kid’s swag collection with an autograph on the ball as well as a pair of batting gloves.
Lanzillotta for his part also met Judge, as the three posed for a picture, and he also received a signed George Springer jersey.
Last night, 9-year-old Derek Rodriguez was gifted @TheJudge44’s home run ball by Jays fan Mike Lanzillotta.
Tonight, Derek got to meet his favorite player 💙 pic.twitter.com/18b24wKYkv
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 4, 2022
This is what it’s all about, making moments and memories.
It’s why if the opposing team hits a home run at Yankee Stadium you should give it to a kid instead of throwing it back onto the field. It’s not Wrigley Field and we’re not Chicago Cubs fans, besides, one of you already nailed Brett Gardner in the back of the noggin a handful of years back.
On a personal note, I got my first foul ball from an older fan, probably around Lanzillotta’s age, when I was about three or four years old at a Durham Bulls game at the old Durham Athletic Park. It was pretty cool and I still have the baseball.
Food for thought if a Blue Jay smacks one out at the Stadium this evening.