What Todd Frazier and my son taught me about being generous

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

I’m taking a quick break today from talking about ChoreMonster to tell a story and brag on my son. I know that I’ve used this blog at times to talk about the more difficult aspects of parenting and step-parenting, but today it’s all positive.

About a month ago I took my son to a Reds Heads event here in Cincinnati. Reds Heads is a club that the team sets up for kids and they get some cool gear along with a handful of fun opportunities to interact with players. The event we attended was a player question and answer session that was held on the field at Great American Ballpark.

All the kids and parents filed in and took their seats while three of the players, Todd Frazier, Alfredo Simon and Mike Leake answered questions from the kids. The kids all lined up for questions and asked some really great stuff. It ranged from “What’s your favorite number?” (my son), to “How do you feel about performance enhancing drug use in baseball?”

The players did a great job, but at a certain point the line was cut because they were out of time. My son’s best friend got left out and didn’t get to ask his question. He sauntered back to us and explained what happened with tears in his eyes. What might have seemed like a small thing to us was a big deal to him and I could tell my son felt bad for him.

As we were leaving they flashed a bunch of raffle ticket numbers on the jumbotron and after I found our ticket in my pocket, I realized that we had one of the winners. We went to claim our prize, not expecting much, and were surprised to find out we won a signed baseball from one of our favorite Reds, Todd Frazier.

After my son grabbed the ball and looked it over, he immediately looked at me and asked if he could give it to his buddy. I was caught off guard a bit, and asked if he was sure that he wanted to do that. He confirmed it and handed it over to his friend, who was surprised and had an immediate change in his mood.

It was a pretty amazing act of generosity. And in retrospect, I thought to myself, would I have done the same thing? In all honesty, I’m not sure.

Sometimes our kids teach us great lessons.

UPDATE: It’s been two years since this happened, and I wanted to provide a quick update. My son’s friend recently had a chance to meet Todd Frazier and got his autograph. As a result, the signed ball that my son gave him was returned. It just goes to show that generosity is often returned when it’s given so freely.

And last night, when Frazier won the Home Run Derby here in Cincinnati, my son was gripping that signed ball and celebrating as wildly as any fan.


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