On 21 March 2014, between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Team Australia played a big game at Sydney Cricket Ground. Australian outfielder Luke Hughes threw a foul baseball to a boy in the stands but the throw was a little short, so a security guard picked up the baseball and gave it to eight-year-old Brendan, whose family does not want his surname revealed. Unfortunately, seven-year-old Cooper Manning thought that the baseball had been intended for him, and he was upset — very upset. He threw a wobbly (had a temper tantrum). Brendan solved the crisis by doing the very good deed of giving Cooper the baseball. Brendan’s father, Doug, explained some background information about why the security guard had given the baseball to Brendan:
“We were there as a complete family, there was seven of us.
“It was a great night, we were having fun, and the kids were enjoying it. We knew it was a bit of a spectacle and something unique.
“Initially what happened was [before the mishap with Cooper] there was another foul ball hit and a little girl ran to get it. She was just about to get the ball when a man reached over and took it and the crowd was reacted, telling him to give it back.”
According to Doug, the man threw the baseball back. It landed in the lap of Doug’s five-year-old son, and Brendan returned it to the little girl.
Doug continued, “I was telling my children that if another ball comes our way, talk to the security guard and ask for it, which they did.
“When the other ball came, the security guard was going to throw to the other boy [Cooper] but because my son had been talking to the guard and he had helped out the girl, he was inclined to give it to my son.
“My son has a lot of empathy, he just naturally handed the ball to the other kid.
“I thought it was great, I explained to them that if you were that child, wouldn’t you want to get it back?
“It was really rewarding as a parent, we are very proud of Brendan, it was lovely.”
He added, “We had a wonderful night, it was great for baseball and very enjoyable.
Doug also had this to say about Cooper: “The mother was just appreciative and said thank you; the boy was obviously very ecstatic that he had the ball back.
“He was very anxious and excited about getting the ball.
“There’s a life lesson here, do the right thing and you’re better off as a result.”
Cooper’s father, Mark Manning, said about the baseball, “It’s super safe in the bedroom, on top of Cooper’s wardrobe. He had the best night ever, thousands and thousands of kids don’t come away with a baseball every game, so he’s wrapped [totally happy].”
For Further Information: Matt Young, “Is 8-year-old baseball fan Brendan the nicest kid in Australia?” The Advertiser (Adelaide, Australia). 21 March 2014
For Further Information: “Young baseball fan solves crisis in show of good sportsmanship. Epic tantrum averted.” News.com.au (Australia). 21 March 2014
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