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Junior, Reds Help Comfort Small Child

From the Enquirer:

As they tried to revive the man, who did not survive the apparent heart attack, an officer handed the man's 6-year-old grandson to Summee.

Little Antonio Perez had come to the game with his grandfather, whose name the Reds did not release, to celebrate Tony Perez Bobblehead Night.

Over the next 2½ hours, Summee and numerous Reds players and coaches stepped up to comfort and entertain the boy.


Summee still wanted to get Antonio away from the stands, so he took him into the Reds' bullpen, where bullpen coach Tom Hume let him sit on the bench for the last two innings of the game.

Then Ken Griffey Jr. became aware of what was going on and took charge.

"Win or lose, he was coming in the clubhouse," Griffey said.

As the Reds wrapped up their 8-5 victory over the Braves, Griffey went to the bullpen and got the boy.

The players included Antonio in their high-five celebration. Then they took him into the clubhouse.

"We play a game," Griffey said later. "What he was going through doesn't compare.

"It was important that the little guy not be by himself."

Clubhouse manager Rick Stowe said the other players followed Griffey's lead and rallied around the boy.

"Jacob Cruz, Jason LaRue, Junior, they were all great with him," Stowe said. "They gave him bats, balls, wrist bands. Felipe Lopez signed the helmet he wore in the All-Star Game and gave it to him."

"Ken Griffey Jr. was extraordinary," Summee said. "He went completely out of his way to do everything he could."

Said Griffey: "We just tried to make a bad situation a little better."

That's an incredible story.

Ken Griffey Jr. has gotten a lot of the publicity for this story (rightfully so, it sounds like he was amazing), but I found it interesting to see Jacob Cruz's name mentioned.  Is it just me or does Cruz not seem to be an exemplary human being?  Every time I see an article about hard working players, players working in the community, etc. Cruz's name seems to come up.  Cruz doesn't get much press due to his role on the bench, but he seems like a great guy.

Great job by Jr., LaRue, Felipe, Cruz, and everyone else for helping this kid out on such a difficult day.