For young baseball fans there is nothing more exciting than the prospect of catching a foul ball when watching your favorite team play. It’s not something that happens very often, but when it does, it’s a moment to remember.
Joseph Hartman is a 12-year-old boy who couldn’t wait to watch the Tampa Bay Rays play the Texas Rangers at their home field last Saturday. He was attending the game with his father and his 7-year-old sister, Mary Grace Hartman. Both of the young fans were hoping to catch a foul ball, something that their father warned them wasn’t very likely, according to Today.
Nevertheless, in the middle of the game, Austin Meadows of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a foul ball right in the direction of where the family was sitting. Mary Grace had forgotten her baseball mitt at home, something she was regretting. Luckily, her older brother happened to be a Little League player and was well prepared for that moment. To the cheers of fans, Joseph caught the ball when it bounced off the dugout. The video footage that captured the flawless catch zooms in as the little boy jumps for joy and skips back to his seat.
He then shocks everyone when he immediately turns to his little sister and offers her the ball. Mary Grace accepts, a huge smile on her face. The siblings embrace as those around them applaud his generosity.
A big brother gave his little sister a foul ball at a baseball game. She gave him a hug. Wouldn't it be nice if @SrederFox29 gave me a hug too on @FOX29philly? Maybe tomorrow night ???? pic.twitter.com/o3jydLkDER
— Jeff Robbins FOX 29 (@JeffFOX29) July 5, 2019
The Tampa Bay Rays later posted the clip on their Facebook page where it was viewed over 2 million times.
“Big Brother of the Year Award. It’s settled,” read the video’s caption.
Thousands of social media users were touched by the endearing moment, impressed by the fact that a child so young didn’t hesitate to give away something that obviously meant a lot to him.
“Parents are definitely doing something right!!! Awesome big brother, adoring lil’ sis and kudos to the parents,” one Facebook user wrote in response to the video.
— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) July 6, 2019
Joseph’s father, Rob Hartman, later said that the kindness his son showed wasn’t out of character for him. While he and his little sister may experience some sibling rivalry from time to time, they are overall very close, and in that moment, Joseph really proved his love for his little sister.
“That was one of those moments when his real kindness just came out. It was just his instinct; he didn’t think about it,” Rob said.