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joseph foul ball rays game

12-Yr-Old Wins “Brother Of Year” Title After Catching Foul Ball & Giving It To Sister.

It’s only June and we already have a candidate for “Big Brother of the Year.”

At least, that’s according to Major League Baseball team the Tampa Bay Rays, that is. At a recent home game against the Texas Rangers, the MLB cameras were rolling when they captured a sweet sight that left everyone grinning. Robert Hartman was there with his kids that day, and their display of sibling affection was the stuff of baseball family legend.


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The Hartman family live nearby in Temple Terrace, Florida, and they enjoy attending Rays games whenever they get a chance. On the way to the game that day, 7-year-old Mary Grace was upset because she forgot to bring her catcher’s mitt along with her on the off chance that a foul ball would make its way to their section. Her big brother Joseph, age 12, assured her that he’d brought his glove, so no ball was going to get past him.

Dad comforted his daughter by telling her it was rare for people to catch foul balls at all, telling her,¬†“I said, ‘You know, kids, it’s really rare to catch a ball. You know how many games I went to as a kid, and I never got a baseball. It never happens!”

Famous last words, right, dad? In a hilarious twist of fate, that night a foul ball did indeed come flying out of the field and into the stands.


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As luck would have it, Joseph was walking in the aisle when he looked up and saw the ball coming straight towards him. He lifted his glove and caught it easily, drawing cheers from the surrounding fans. Celebrating as he ran back towards his family, Joseph then did something incredible. Without a moment’s hesitation, the boy ran to where his little sister sat with his dad and wordlessly handed her the ball. The smug “ta-da” look on his face is priceless!


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Mary Grace leaped to her feet to give her big brother a hug, and the crowd around rushed to give the boy high fives and compliment him on his catch. The Rays organization was so impressed with this display of sibling love that they shared the video on their Facebook page, unofficially granting Joseph a “Big Brother of the Year Award.” The video soon went seriously viral with over 5 million views on Facebook alone!

Everyone has the same question for the Hartman family after watching the heartwarming video: Is Joseph always so kind and considerate to his siblings? Dad laughed at the question, admitting that¬†“siblings will always be siblings” but Joseph is “a really good kid.” But, Robert added with a smile, he’s also “a 12-year-old boy. That’s all I’m going to say!”


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Whether or not Joseph is always this nice or we caught him on a good day doesn’t matter. His actions really brightened our spirits; to see such a polite young man who really cares about his little sister’s feelings is wonderful. Great parenting, Robert and Stefanie!

Watch the sweet video below, and don’t forget to share.

Brother catches foul ball, gives to his sister

Big brother of the year award. It's settled.

Posted by Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, June 29, 2019


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