Friday, August 05, 2005Game ball goes to the Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Cincinnati Reds players rallied around a 6-year-old boy after his grandfather collapsed in the stands this week.
"We just tried to make a bad situation a little better,'' outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
While paramedics were working on the grandfather, a security officer took the boy to the Reds' bullpen. The Reds did not release the name of the grandfather, who died Wednesday night of an apparent heart attack.
The boy, identified as Antonio Perez, sat with players for the last two innings of the game, and Griffey went and got him when the game ended. The boy participated in the Reds' high-fives celebrating their 8-5 victory over Atlanta, and he then joined the players in the clubhouse.
Clubhouse manager Rick Stowe said the Reds showered the boy with bats, wristbands and autographed baseballs. Shortstop Felipe Lopez gave him the batting helmet that he wore in this year's All-Star game.
The players entertained the boy until his parents arrived.
"We play a game,'' Griffey told the Enquirer. "What he was going through doesn't compare. It was important that the little guy not be by himself.''