July 19, 2010
His Rawlings return wasn't exactly up to par with Henry Rowengartner's rocket, but the l'il guy who threw Ryan Howard's(notes) homer back onto the field during the ninth inning of Sunday's game is still the coolest fourth grader in Chicago. I was actually sitting in the right-field bleachers for the Cubs' 11-6 rout of Roy Halladay(notes) and the Phillies, but I definitely would have bought the kid an
Old Style Ecto Cooler had I been in left field and witnessed the regurgitation.
Orel Hershisher made a comment about the encouraging fans around the boy, and there has been some chatter on Twitter — including some from Chicago Cubs fans — that the kid was "goaded" and "pressured" into returning the souvenir to the playing surface of Wrigley Field.
However, I didn't quite interpret it that way. Judging from the kid's lack of hesitation and fluid throwing motion after picking it up from the ground, his act was one of a quick conviction that is not possessed by many others. Even yours truly would have at least taken a few seconds to think about it before trying to hit Geovany Soto's(notes) catcher's mitt on the fly.
At any rate, here's to our young and fast-acting friend at Wrigley Field. A home-run ball by Ryan Howard may be cool to have, but it's nowhere near the lasting conversation piece — and ensuing Big League Stew blog post! — he'll always be able to wield.