The only bad news that came from Jordany Valdespin's game-deciding, pinch hit three-run homer on May 7 in the top of the ninth inning off Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, was the fact that the young shortstop wouldn't have a chance to put the ball from his first big league hit onto his mantle.
Seconds after Valdespin's deep bomb to right-field landed in the seats at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA, the ball was thrown back on the field, and then picked up by the Phillies ball girl who gave it to a young kid sitting nearby.
In most cases, that would seal the deal on a player ever seeing a ball again.
However, it appears that Valdespin will in fact get his historic home run ball back due to an incredible turn of events.
During the Mets' radio broadcast of Game Two of their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, play-by-play announcer Howie Rose said the young boy's father realized it was Valdespin's first MLB hit when he got home after the game.
The boy and his father then managed to get in touch with stadium staff, who then contacted the New York Mets and Valdespin, to let them know they were willing to give the ball back.
Rose announced that the fans agreed to give the ball back to Valdespin prior to the series finale between the Mets and Phillies on May 9.
Apparently the boy and his father haven't made any demands for anything in return from the New York Mets or Valdespin, but I'm sure the team and the player will do something nice for the young boy in return for his generosity.
I'm almost positive the young boy will go home with something even better than a baseball that was given to him by the Phillies ballgirl. He'll probably go home with a game-used bat or jersey, and will likely get a chance to meet some of his favorite players. It will be an unforgettable experience, far better than ending up with Valdespin's home run ball.
The ball is much more valuable to Valdespin than it would be for the boy, as it was his first hit in the Major Leagues. The game-winning homer turned the May 7 tilt into an instant Mets classic that will likely be shown on SNY broadcasts for years to come, so it's looking like all sides involved will come out of this story with nothing but smiles.
Who said the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies can't get along? As it turns out, "The City of Brotherly Love" can be quite generous to its northern neighbors.
Valdespin's hit off Papelbon was historic on many levels. Not only was it his first hit in the Major Leagues, it was also a game-winning shot that evoked memories of Omir Santos' bomb off Papelbon while he was the closer on the Boston Red Sox in 2009.
"They threw beer, water, everything they had on my head," Valdespin said of his homer off Papelbon, according to an MLB.com report. "I'm happy. I'm very excited."
In a rivalry between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies that doesn't receive many "aww" moments, this is one to remember for all the right reasons.
Should the Philadelphia Phillies fan give Jordany Valdespin the ball back? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
WFAN 660, New York Mets Radio Broadcast, Howie Rose
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