ANAHEIM, Calif. – Remember Abigail, a young Reds and Joey Votto fan at her first MLB game last year who went viral on Twitter for being upset when Votto was ejected from a Padres and Reds game? Well, it happened again, with Abigail watching from the stands, this time to former Reds player Jesse Winker at an Angels and Mariners game on June 26.
It all started with a full-team brawl after multiple inside pitches and ended with three Mariners hitters, including Winker, three Angels pitchers, and a manager from each team being ejected from the game. Abigail and her family like to keep up with Reds and former Reds players, so when one of the two former Reds she came to see got ejected, she was visibly upset. Kristin Courtney, Abigail’s mother, also said Abigail was reacting to the violence and the possible injuries that could have been caused.
“Well, guys, you’ll never guess who came to the Mariners vs Angels game to see Jesse Winker & Eugenio Suarez play today… Yep, it happened AGAIN. And we are NOT happy. #whataretheodds,” Kristin tweeted after the ejection with a photo of Abigail crying.
Kevin Martinez, the Mariners’ senior vice president of marketing and communications, replied to the tweet about an hour later and sent a signed ball from Winker to the family’s seats. The ball read, “Abigail, sorry I was ejected! I hope to see you at another game soon.” Abigail, her brother and her father were cooling off under some shade when she received the gift.
“She came bounding down to the seats to show me and she was just absolutely thrilled,” Kristin said.
After some ice cream, chocolate milk, the signed ball and a wave from Suarez during the game, there was a happy ending to the day for Abigail after all.
“I just wanted to thank everyone for their kindness yesterday! It was a roller coaster of a day, but both kiddos ended up having an amazing time,” Kristin said in a tweet. “It brings me so much joy to share the game of baseball with them and to watch their love and knowledge of the game grow.”
Kristin has always been an avid Reds fan, and Abigail has watched baseball games her whole life. She started to take an interest in the games around age three or four when she picked Joey Votto as her favorite player. She became a Jesse Winker fan after watching a video of him reading a children’s book with other celebrities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, Abigail’s favorite part about baseball is learning the rules and terms of the game. She even plays softball herself, where she has played for four seasons.
“Right now, she’s super into learning the game. She loves to play, so she’s always asking questions about ‘was that a ball or a strike? What is the count?’” Kristin said. “She tries to soak it all in.”
The young fan’s room decor is also baseball-themed, and her collection includes the two signed balls from Votto and Winker, a baby book with Reds players’ signatures and a baseball bat, along with other memorabilia.
Kristin is thankful for all the positive reactions and the people who have reached out so far.
“I enjoy connecting with people and talking about their love for the game because we as a family love the game as well, so I just appreciate many of the connections that we’ve made through this,” Kristin said.
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