In 2012, the parents of Ted Kremer attended a fundraiser and won a silent auction for their son to be a bat boy at a Cincinnati Reds game. Even though the prize was supposed to be for someone aged 15-19, the Reds made an exception in part because Ted — 29 years old at the time — also happens to have Down syndrome. The Kremers expected it to be a token appearance. It was anything but.
Ted Kremer's enthusiastic turn as bat boy on Aug. 17 might have been the highlight of the Reds' season (aside from making the playoffs). He surprised his parents — shocked them, really — by performing, with guidance, all of the required bat boy duties. That, along with his irrepressible attitude, made a big impression on the Reds players. So much so that they brought him back for another go Thursday night.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports what happened next:
Kremer asked for two things — 11 strikeouts for free pizza and a Todd Frazier home run. He got both.
“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,’” Frazier recalled after the team’s 11-1 victory over the Marlins.
Saying "C’mon, hit me a home run, I love you" to Todd Frazier and then having it happen is even better than Babe Ruth pointing and hitting a home run against the Cubs in the World Series. No offense to the regular Reds bat boy, I'm sure he's great, but the club might they want to have Ted Kremer stick around for, oh, the rest of the season. Just look at what he means to Frazier:
“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?”
And to think, Ted Kremer wasn't even supposed to be there. At all:
When Cheryl Kremer gave birth to Teddy, she was told the next day by the doctor that her son would likely never smile, probably wouldn’t talk, might not walk, and would never have more than a 40 IQ.
Well, he showed 'em. He's still showing everybody. If you're not acquainted with Ted Kremer's full story with the Reds, take some time to read the original Enquirer story from a season ago. It will bring you joy.