Andrew McCutchen brought much joy to Pittsburgh Pirates fans this season as his MVP caliber performance helped lead the team back to the playoffs following a 21 year absence. But for one family in particular, one swing of McCutchen’s bat set off a series of emotional events that ultimately concluded with the happiest of all endings.
It all began on June 16 at PNC Park as the Pirates were hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tiffany Gardone, who was 8 ½ months pregnant at the time, was attending the game with her husband Micah and all was seemingly normal during the first five innings. However, during the sixth inning, Micah had to excuse himself for a bathroom break, which left Tiffany to fend for herself if a foul ball happened upon their section.
"I told Micah that if one came my way I was ducking with my purse overhead." Tiffany told MLB.com’s Cut 4.
Naturally, that’s exactly what happened. McCutchen popped one toward their seats that sent fans scurrying for a souvenir. As luck would have it, the ball actually deflected off a railing and ended up within reaching distance of Tiffany, allowing her to grab it and show if off to the fans and eventually her surprised husband.
It was a thrilling moment that every baseball fan dreams about when heading to the park. But little did the Gardone family realize their crazy evening was just getting started.
Exciting, right? So exciting, in fact, that the moment appeared to jumpstart her labor. She felt cramping and began having contractions, and "it got to the point where I was intermittently crying (due to pain) and laughing." The couple left during the eighth inning and headed straight for the hospital, where Jeremiah was born at 11:36 p.m. A few days later, he posed with the foul ball that he can thank for his early entry into the world:
It's a pretty amazing story. And it's made even better with the news that six-month old Jeremiah is doing well. In fact, he’s doing so well he was able to travel with his family to Piratefest and meet Andrew McCutchen.
We love it when a story comes full circle. Congratulations to the Gardone family.
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