Daily Sports Smile: Young Orioles fan gets gift of the game, but throws it back

An Orioles' cap and glove sits in the dugout in the second inning May 14, 2022 against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Emily Olsen
USA TODAY Sports+

You can't come between a kid and their love of baseball. And apparently you can't stop them from throwing a baseball, either. 

One young Baltimore Orioles fan did just that Monday night when the New York Yankees beat the Orioles 6-2 at Camden Yards.

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It all started when Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton gave a ball to a New York fan between innings. The fan saw the young child wearing a "my first game" pin on their black and orange jersey and gifted him the ball, according to NBC Washington producer Matt Perison. A humble and heartwarming moment among fans. 

Until the grinning child threw the ball back.

After taking a few celebratory photos with the ball, the Orioles fan got a knowing grin on their face. The commentators watching the moment predicted what happened next. 

"And don't throw it. He wants to fire that thing," the Orioles' broadcaster said before the child did just that, throwing the ball back onto the field. "I'm just going to tell you from experience, if you give a 5-year-old a baseball they're going to sling it."

As the child sat down, proud of the throw, a Yankees outfielder picked up the ball and threw it back into the crowd — just not in the little fan's section. 

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The new owners of the traveling ball saw the whole incident and eventually walked the baseball back over to the young fan.

Getting a game ball once on your first trip to the park is special, but twice will leave the fan with a life-long story about their love for baseball and the people who helped make it an unforgettable day.