Dodgers star Mookie Betts helped an opponent retrieve a priceless ball in the middle of their game
- Mookie Betts made a deal with fans to help retrieve a meaningful home run ball for an opponent.
- Rookie TJ Friedl got his first major league hit for the Reds with a home run against Betts' Dodgers.
- Betts asked for the ball and returned the favor by giving the fans a signed bat.
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Dodgers superstar outfielder Mookie Betts reminded us that some things are bigger than baseball with a graceful gesture to his opposition.
In the sixth inning, Cincinnati Reds rookie TJ Friedl scored the first hit of his career with a home run over the left-field wall.
After the ball left the park, Betts called to the fan who caught the ball, asking for it back. The fan obliged, and Betts tossed the ball back to the Reds dugout so Friedl would be able to keep it as a memento of his first hit in The Show.
The next inning, Betts ran out a signed bat to the fan that gave him the ball.
The moment shows some incredible awareness and empathy on the part of Betts. He knew it was Friedl's first hit, knew he would want to keep the ball, and made an effort he didn't have to make to ensure a young player he didn't know would get a keepsake.
"It's incredible," Friedl said after the game . "For him to do something like that, it's definitely just world-class out of him. I want to go over there (to the Dodgers clubhouse) and just say thank you in person. Thank you is all I can really say because it means so much.
"I want to find a way to say thank you to him."
Betts said that the fan in the stands made it an easy deal.
"I just asked him for the ball. It was kind of sign language," Betts said of the exchange. "I said I'll throw you another ball, but that's his first home run. Can you throw it back? He didn't hesitate. He threw it right back. I think at that point, I was going to throw him a ball, but I thought about getting him a bat instead, maybe has something to be remembered a little more."
Betts also said the moment was inspired in part by a moment he had shared with Kobe Bryant.
"Those type of interactions are kind of everlasting," Betts said. "I think one of the last times I talked to Kobe (Bryant), he reminded me that by the time the game is over, somebody knows who you are, and somebody recognizes you. Obviously, that's through our play, but that's another way to impact someone's life. I wasn't really doing it for cameras or anything. I was just doing it because he immediately threw the ball back. He didn't even ask or anything."
According to Cincinnati.com , Betts and Friedl spoke over the phone after the game, which the Dodgers won 8-5.
Reds manager David Bell was also stunned by Betts' display of sportsmanship.
"I don't know Mookie, but man, it just says so much about him as a person, as a player," Bell said. "It confirms basically everything I've ever heard about him. To think that selflessly or to think outside yourself that much in the heat of the game and to be that thoughtful, it's amazing."
In the stands, Reds fan Michael Diddle, who initially caught the home run ball, also seemed happy with the deal.
Sometimes baseball brings out the best in us.Read the original article on Insider