Fan’s gesture leads to youngster meeting his idol

A 9-year-old boy drew plenty of online fame when a video of another baseball fan giving him a home run ball hit by New York's Aaron Judge went viral. The clip led to the youngster getting to meet the Yankees slugger.



May 5, 2022 - 2:40 PM

Fan Derek Rodriguez, 9, reacts while meeting Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Wednesday. Photo by (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/TNS)

TORONTO — Derek Rodriguez got much more than just a baseball. The young Yankees fan became famous overnight for his emotional reaction when a Blue Jays fan handed him the Aaron Judge home run ball during Tuesday’s night’s Bombers win at Rogers Centre. He and his family were back at the ballpark Wednesday night, when he got to meet Judge and other Yankees.

Rodriguez and his family were joined by Mike Lanzillotta, the Blue Jays fan who gave him the ball, in the Yankees dugout before Wednesday’s game. They watched the Yankees take batting practice and when he was done, Judge joined them in the dugout.

Rodriguez, 9, cried when Judge sat down next to him and started talking to him and his brother.

August 3, 2022
August 1, 2022
July 6, 2022
June 21, 2022