September 17, 2009
America just can't get enough of the Monfortos.
Less than a day after the now-famous video of 3-year-old Emily's foul ball rejection at a Phillies game went viral, the family from Laurel Springs, N.J. appeared on Thursday's "Today Show" to talk about the highlight that has captured the country's heart.
"Looking back, I should have realized that if she gets a ball from dad she's going to throw it," dad Steve Monforto told Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer. "But at the time, I was just so excited to give it to her."
The foul ball — which was hit by Jayson Werth(notes) and ranked as the first Steve had ever caught — was quickly deposited over the ledge by Emily, who learned the reaction by playing catch with Steve at home. Though the family doesn't know what happened to the original ball, they were given a replacement Rawlings by a Phillies rep later in the game. During Thursday's TV appearance, each of the four family members were given personalized Phillies jerseys by the team and Steve was presented a ball that was signed by Werth.
As she was during Tuesday's game, Emily served as the star of the show in the NBC studio. When asked her favorite part of going to a Phillies game, she responded by saying "Raul Ibanez."
Knowing the name of the starting left fielder who arrived just before the season? Not bad for a 3-year-old, especially when it appeared that Lauer and Vieira had no idea what she was talking about and quickly changed the topic to her favorite food.
Since being featured on the front page of Yahoo! on Wednesday afternoon, the Big League Stew post containing the highlight has been one of the most clicked in this blog's history and I don't think it's hard to figure out why. In a time when all we're seeing on the news are stories concerning a country bitterly divided over health care as well as a self-promotional stunt gone wrong by a rap star, the Monfortos moment was a simple way to escape it all.
Better yet, there was nothing manufactured about it at all. From Emily's humorous response to Steve's loving hug to sharing a nice night at the park with your family, it was completely organic. Every bit of attention they're getting is warranted.
Other stories resonating on the Yahoo! network:
• New world’s tallest man crowned, and he’s looking for love
• Yale tragedy has more dramatic revelations
• HS football team tries to defend 83-0 rout