Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor made his major league debut Tuesday in New York and singled up the middle against Rafael Montero in his first at-bat.
“I was kind of numb out there,” Taylor said after the game. “I wasn’t really thinking about much after that. I definitely kind of slowed it down a little later, was able to enjoy it a little more.”
Taylor had regained feeling in his body by the sixth inning, when he blasted a two-run, opposite field home run off Mets reliever Carlos Torres. Taylor’s first career homer took a more circuitous route back to the 23-year-old after landing in a section of bleachers beyond the right field fence.
A Mets ballboy ran to retrieve the ball after a fan — perhaps in an act of defiance, perhaps out of the goodness of his heart — tossed it onto the warning track. As Adam Kilgore noted, Anthony Rendon immediately began signaling fans to throw the ball back as Taylor rounded the bases.
Oblivious to the significance of the ball — and Rendon’s gesturing from the Nationals’ dugout — the ballboy tossed the piece of history to a kid.
Another pic after the Taylor homer. Check out the helmet mid-flight after Werth’s jumper. Desmond’s the hoop. pic.twitter.com/EtH2LEeihi
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) August 13, 2014
All was not lost, however. With a security guard providing backup, the ballboy returned to the kid, who happily traded Taylor’s home run ball for another ball, because really, none of his friends will know the difference.
The kid was still happy to have a ball.
Taylor was happy to have the ball, which would later sit in his locker, marked “1st ML HR”
in black Sharpie. Thanks, Mets kid. Official scoring: Fan-Ballboy-Fan-Ballboy-History.
A huge MLB debut for @Taylor_Michael3 and the #Nats rookie OF is taking home TWO very special baseballs! pic.twitter.com/YeDVfKKkHe — Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 13, 2014