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Tejada Delivers Promised Home Run

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Ordinarily, the main story would be the critical role that Miguel Tejada's 2 run HR would play in the Astros' opening victory over the Brewers.  And it was a huge momentum shifter, allowing the Astros to tie the Brewers... and beginning a string of three straight home runs by the Astros' batting order.

But the home run received even more attention because Tejada had promised to hit a home run for a young boy who suffers from muscular dystrophy.  On top of that, the team's home run barrage came during a game when $10,000 was donated to the muscular dystrophy foundation for each home run.  As I mentioned in the game thread, the Astros' broadcasters mentioned early in the game that Tejada had promised to hit a home run for the young fan.  So, Tejada put the pressure on himself when he allowed the promise to be made public in advance of the feat.

From Jose Ortiz's blog at Chron.com:

Eight-year-old Jacob Scott and fellow Muscular Dystrophy patient Jacob Richard were among the loudest fans at Minute Maid Park as the Astros put on an amazing home run display Friday night.

Yet, as Miguel Tejada tried to chat with Scott after the victory, the boy stood away from his walker and struggled to formulate a word...."I was so excited," Tejada said after giving Scott and autographed bat. "I'm excited when I hit a home run. I know it's hard to promise someone a home run, and I did it. Today when I went to lunch with this kid (Scott), I wanted him to be happy."

 

In an interview with Tejada after the game, the FSN broadcaster suggested a comparison to Babe Ruth's called HR.  My first reaction was to remember Ruth's most famous "called HR," in the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field.  That wasn't similar at all, since supposedly Ruth called the HR pitch and location.  But another Babe Ruth story involves a visit to a young hospitalized patient, Johnny Sylvester.  According to legend, Ruth promised him a home run in "this Wednesday's game" and the seriously ill young man miraculously recovered.  Although Ruth apparently did promise the youngster a home run and delivered on the promise, many of the details apparently were exagerrated by the press.  As stated here, the story had been expanded:

For one thing, little Johnny had actually been badly hurt in a fall from a horse. And Ruth's promise to hit a home run was actually conveyed to the boy by a friend of the boy's father. The Babe did visit Johnny in the hospital, but not until the series was over and he'd hit four home runs.

Creamer also reported this heart-warming addendum: A year later, Johnny Sylvester's uncle approached the Babe and thanked him for what he did for the boy. You're welcome, said the Babe.

After the uncle left, Ruth turned to a couple of baseball writers he'd been sitting with and said: "Now who the hell is Johnny Sylvester?"