CLEVELAND — Catching a home run ball at a Major League Baseball game is a once in a lifetime event, but catching a walk-off home run ball while your team is in the playoff hunt is even more special!
Cleveland Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi smashed a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the 9th Tuesday night for the game winner. The lucky recipient of that ball was 6-year-old Jake Raffin from Rocky River.
Jake was at the game with his dad when the unthinkable happened.
“You could hear it crack off the bat no matter where you were in the stadium and I remember my eyes getting bigger and bigger telling Jake, ‘it’s coming right at us, Jake, it’s coming right at us!’ … Next thing I know, Jake’s sitting against the bullpen fence playing catch with the ball in his glove just like nothing happened. Another day for Jake,” said his dad, Dominic Raffin.
Jason Giambi asked for the ball back and little Jake obliged.
The slugger made an unexpected visit to Wednesday’s news conference to personally thank Jake.
In addition to the autographed bat Giambi gave Jake Tuesday night, the 1st grader became an official member of the “Goon Squad” and got a pair of batting gloves.
Not bad for a six-year-old.