There were few in the history of sports that recognized the support and importance of fans than the late Kobe Bryant. Forever a titan in sports history and in Los Angeles, Kobe knew what he meant to his fans and always wanted to repay them with his play. The Dodgers have a little bit of that with Mookie Betts.
On Sunday afternoon, we all got to see the kind of things that Mookie does to grow the game and fanbase. The Dodgers outfielder took it upon himself to retrieve the first big league home run for Reds’ outfielder TJ Friedl by trading him for a bat.
After the game, Mookie talked about that interaction, both with the fan and with Friedl. The Dodgers superstar spoke about it after the game and referenced one of the last conversations he had with Kobe.
Those interactions are kind of everlasting. One of the last times I spoke to Kobe (Bryant) he just reminded me by the time the game is over, leave somebody (happy), somebody knows who you are, somebody recognizes you. I wasn’t really doing it for cameras or anything. I was just doing it because (the fan) immediately threw the ball back and didn’t give even ask her anything.
The experience didn’t just mean a ton to that fan and Dodgers fans in general, but it will always stay with Friedl. The rookie outfielder will always have a story about a potential Hall of Famer getting his first home run ball back for him.
But it’s not surprising at all for Dodgers fans to see. Since his arrival to Los Angeles, Mookie has been the model of excellence across the sport, both in his play and in his approach to other players. He is truly one of a kind.
WATCH: Mookie Betts Trades Reds Fans Bat to Get Rookie’s First Home Run Ball