BALTIMORE – A Houston teenager who loves the Astros gave up a baseball he caught during a game and handed it to a child.
Gerardo Salinas III said it was a teachable moment for his son, Gerardo Salinas IV, who witnessed a boy run for a baseball that landed near their seats Saturday afternoon at Camden Yards where the Astros played the Baltimore Orioles in a doubleheader.
Salinas, the father, said it broke his heart when he witnessed the child try to get the ball at the same time as an adult man. The child couldn't hold onto it, Salinas said, and the adult claimed the baseball. Then Salinas said the male Astros fan gave to ball to another child.
"His heart wanted to come out of his chest," Salinas said of the child who had the ball in his hand initially.
Salinas said it was too much to see the boy's tears, so he told his son Gerardo IV that if they catch a baseball, it would go to the child.
That's exactly what happened right after that inning.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, on his way into the dugout, threw a baseball right into the younger Salinas' baseball glove. Rather than keep the ball, he remembered the agreement he and his father made and immediately handed the baseball over to the child who had been sobbing for losing out to the prior baseball that came in their direction.
The child was ecstatic and the Salinas' felt like they had done the right thing. Salinas, the father, said he approached the incident as a teachable moment.
"Do good things in life and you will always receive good things in life," Salinas said of the motto he was trying to impress on his son.
Little did they know that the very next day at Sunday's game against the Orioles at Camden Yards, another baseball was in the teenager's future.
Salinas IV caught a second ball thrown his way from a pitcher in the bullpen.
His father said his son was beaming and told him, "That's it! We can go home."
The father-son duo along with the father's best friend were in Baltimore strictly to give the younger Salinas a fantastic experience and reward for getting straight As.
They flew in from Houston, specifically to take Salinas IV to see the Astros. Little did they know they would be returning back to Houston not only with a baseball, but some memories of a lifetime.
Salinas IV attends Milby High School in Houston and is being sought by colleges for his skills on the baseball field.