I’ve been a fan of the Cincinnati Reds ever since my friend Mark introduced me to baseball cards when I was in 4th grade. I loved Pete Rose and Johnny Bench, and then players like Eric Davis and Barry Larkin. And while they have had some great players over the years, they now have a new legend playing for their team; third baseman Todd Frazier.
While he hasn’t risen to a level of Pete Rose or Johnny Bench, what he did the other night puts him in a league of his own and has earned the respect of millions of fans.
Instead of botching the story I am going to include a partial article about what went down. Click on the link to read the whole story and then watch the youtube clip at the end.
From Gregg Doyel:
Three weeks into the season, Todd Frazier is among National League leaders in home runs, RBI and WAR — offense and defense — and has an OPS of .941. Last season he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting with a slash line of .273/.331/.498. He’s a former first-round pick out of Rutgers, just turned 27, can play all four corner infield or outfield positions, and has that look of a longtime starter on a longtime pennant contender. On the field, Frazier is worthy of being anyone’s favorite player.
But it’s off the field where he became mine. It’s Teddy.
Maybe you know the story by now, and if you do, you know it for the home run, the called shot, the touching connection between Teddy Kremer and Todd Frazier. I know it for those things, but I know it for two other reasons as well. Those reasons are coming, but for those who don’t know the story — or for those who’d like to relive it — here it is:
Teddy Kremer handles batboy duties for the Reds from time to time. It started last season when his parents won a silent auction at a local school, minimum bid $300, for one game as a batboy. The Kremers bid the minimum and won, because nobody else bid. Why? Probably, as the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Paul Daugherty surmised in this beautiful story, because people at the school knew how much the Reds meant to Teddy and didn’t want to bid against him.
Anyway, Kremer handled those duties with such charm that he became a local sensation and then went national, attending President Obama’s State of the Union address in February as a guest of Speaker of the House John Boehner, an Ohio native from nearby West Chester. At one point in the program, Obama picked Teddy out of the crowd and waved.
Teddy has that effect on people. He has it on me, and I’ve not met him. Not yet, anyway. That’s on my bucket list.
Back to Frazier, and the home run. Teddy was a batboy for the Reds game Thursday when he announced in bits and pieces that he wanted three things: 11 runs for the Reds, 11 strikeouts for the pitching staff — a local pizza company, LaRosa’s, gives fans a free pizza when the Reds whiff 11 batters, and Teddy loves that pizza — and a home run for Todd Frazier.
The Reds scored those 11 runs and recorded those 11 strikeouts. As for Frazier, this is what Teddy told him before his at-bat in the sixth inning: “Come on, hit me a home run, I love you.”
And this is what Frazier told Teddy: “I love you too. I’ll hit you one.”
I love you too.
That’s reason No. 1 why Todd Frazier is my favorite player. Not that he promised Teddy a home run, but because he told Teddy, “I love you too.” Ballplayer or not, who does that? What grown man tells another grown man that? My favorite player does.
Even if you’re not a fan of baseball or even sports, it’s hard not to be touched by a story such as this.