PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Oneil Cruz’s bat slipped out of his hands and went flying into the stands after the Pittsburgh Pirates rookie struck out in the third inning on Friday night against Philadelphia. That’s when things got sticky.
The lumber landed in Jen Mehall’s lap behind the Phillies dugout. Mehall, a Pirates fan, was thrilled to get the souvenir – especially after it dinged her in the leg and lip.
An inning later, though, a Pirates official came to request the bat back and offered another one in a trade. Mehall and her friend, Kathie Koller, who were in town from Reading to celebrate Koller’s birthday, didn’t want to give up their rare keepsake.
“We wanted to keep it, but security said we couldn’t,” said Mehall, who is originally from Western Pennsylvania.
Fans in the sections around the two women booed loudly.
Although they were disappointed, Mehall and Koller did have the good fortune of sitting in front of former Phillies infielder and team ambassador Mickey Morandini. He got the women a bat bearing the signature of Phillies star slugger Bryce Harper.