I have 12 year-old twin boys. One started out as a Reds fan, but has gravitated to the Texas Rangers. He has followed Derek Holland closely because he is from our town. So we went to the final game of the series yesterday in Cleveland.
We arrived just at the end of batting practice for the Indians, and afterward the Rangers were throwing along the RF foul line. The boys were yelling for balls, but the Indians players wouldn't because my boy was wearing a Rangers cap. Surprisingly, even though Holland pitched Saturday night, he was out throwing yesterday.
So, as the Rangers are starting to head to the dugout, Holland heads across the field to get a stray ball in CF. He then heads over to the LF wall and starts talking to my boys. They tell him they are from his hometown, so he starts quizzing them with local questions to test if they are really from Newark. Then he tosses a couple of balls up, one the Rangers fan gets, the other to a friend of my boys who was at his first big league game. My son was quivering from excitement when he got back to our seat. Good job, Derek.
Mr. Holland is a good guy, he is very active in our community and is using his celebrity the right way. In the offseason, he makes appearances and does a few baseball clinics, a very good ambassador of the game. I told my son to hold onto the ball, and when he's in town during the offseason, we'll go get the ball signed. I imagine he'll remember this encounter from everything else I've seen of him.