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Teddy brings a smile to Brandon Phillips face.
Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

This is not a Boston Red Sox story, nor is this a Cincinnati Reds story.

It is bigger than a single team.

This is about baseball, a love of the game that is pure joy to watch.

It is about Ted Kramer's love of the game.

Tonight on ESPN's 'E:60' between 7-8PM, there will be a 12-15 minute profile that tells the story of the man’s journey from Down syndrome diagnosis to toast of the town.

It all started when Ted, or Teddy as they call him, won a silent auction to be the Reds bat boy for a day back in April. His parents bought him this gift, which was to be for a kid aged 15-19 but the Reds made an exception for Teddy who was 29 years old, which they thought would be a one time appearance.

It has turned into so much more.

He arrived at the Reds clubhouse and brought with him a pure and simple joy, a love of baseball and all that is around him in his daily life. He asked for only two things.

  1. 11 strikeouts from the Reds pitchers, resulting in free pizza for everyone
  2. Todd Frazier, the Reds third baseman to hit a home run

“He’s so funny, he said, ‘C’mon, hit me a home run, I love you.’ I said, ‘I love you too, I’ll hit you one,’” Frazier recounted during a post game interview.

Frazier was a man of his word and the video shows why the rest is history:



After that initial game where Teddy worked as bat boy Brandon Phillips, the Reds second baseman, explained his delight over Ted’s exuberance.

“People are blessed in their own way,” said the Reds second baseman. “Teddy came in here and blessed us with his energy and his presence that day: Enjoy life, be yourself, go out and play hard. Give it all you got. That’s Teddy. He’s a reminder to us all.”

There were some concerns when this took off that it would be only a media hype, but the Reds have treated this situation as professionally as they have approached reaching the postseason. Teddy is now working for the Reds in fan accommodations.

Since that first appearance the Reds are 3-0 with Teddy working as bat boy and it looks like he will be around for much longer working for the Reds. Maybe a postseason bat boy position is in order?

I for one just wanted to add my thanks to Teddy for reminding us what baseball is about. It is about joy, fun, and how just being at the ballpark can change the way you look at the world.

Post a comment or via twitter @ericschabell with your thoughts.

More by Eric D. Schabell

Eric D. Schabell 9/24/2013 10:00:00 AM Edit
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