During the San Francisco Giants’ win against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the National League Pennant, Hunter Pence hit a monumental double while breaking the bat. The hit was so incredible and memorable, in fact, that the bat managed to smack the ball two more times after the initial hit, which imparted some weird backspin and made the ball that much harder to catch. Click here to see it in super slo-mo.
The Giants won 9-0, and according to an article on Comcast Sportsnet, Pence was eager to have the bat returned to him. Apparently he names all his bats, and this one—“Fryer”—had already proved itself with a home run in a previous game in the series.
But the Giants sell off authentic, used equipment shortly after the conclusion of each game, and one lucky fan, Rick Alagna, had his name pulled out of the hat for both the broken bat and the ball that was hit. He bought both the ball and the bat—the “collectible of all collectibles”—for a relatively inexpensive $550 and planned to give the set to his son for Christmas.
However, when Alagna saw the buzz surrounding the hit, he decided to return it to the Giants so Pence could keep Fryer for himself. As a reward for reuniting the bat with its rightful owner, the lifelong Giants fan was given another Pence-signed bat, as well as tickets for a luxury seat at Game 1 of the World Series. Not bad for doing the right thing!
That just goes to show you: not only are fans avid collectors of important pieces of the game, but the players themselves have the same compulsion. Good on you, Rick Alagna.
[Via Comcast Sportsnet]