ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mother-child trips to major league games for Florida families in need of distraction after their homes were hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday afternoon became even more .
Samantha Sheffield and her 14-year-old son, Braylon, were in town from the storm-hit Fort Myers, sitting on the lower deck of left field at Grove Life Field when New York Yankees rookie Oswald Peraza took the win against the Texas Rangers. when you hit a long drive in their direction.
A good fielding middle fielder, Braylon reached left in front of his mother to catch Peraza’s first major league home run four rows off the wall.
“You saved my life,” Samantha said with a laugh.
The nifty grab came in the opening two innings of the day-night doubleheader.
“I reached out and caught the ball and pulled it away from another guy,” Braylon said. “He wasn’t trying to take it, but he had his hand around my glove.”
A guard told Sheffield that the Yankees were happy to hand over the ball. After the game, they met with Peraza outside the visitor’s clubhouse to receive an autographed baseball and tickets to a future Yankees game in Arlington.
“I’m so happy,” Peraza said through an interpreter after the Yankees beat Texas 5-4. I am finding a way.”
Hurricane Ian’s damage to the Sheffield home was relatively minor compared to other homes in the neighborhood. However, a flooded garage ruins the collection of about 400 baseballs that Braylon has amassed over the years.
Samantha and Braylon, chief financial officers of Bay Colony Golf Club in Naples, Florida, have been planning this trip for months. A fan of the Atlanta Braves, Braylon chose the Rangers home game because the club wanted to see a climate-controlled ballpark for three years.
The timing had nothing to do with why many of the 30,553 spectators gathered at Grove Life Field for this game — Aaron Judge’s pursuit of home run 62 and an American League record.
“This was planned long before it happened,” said Samantha.
Sheffield was also able to meet the judges briefly after the match.
They flew across the state from Fort Lauderdale to Texas last Friday. Braylon’s father, Mark, and his younger brother Brody stayed at home.
Samantha’s priority of where to sit had nothing to do with home run-robbing positioning.
“I bought a ticket in the all-you-can-eat section,” she said. “I have a teenage boy.”
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