PHILADELPHIA (AP)Bryson Stott’s game-winning home run this week for the Phillies just may have been drivin’ on a prayer.
The 8-year-old Phillies fan caught on camera with hands pressed together and Phillies rally cap turned inside out before Stott hit his three-run homer Sunday with two outs in the ninth inning couldn’t believe his silent plea was answered.
”I wanted him to hit a home run,” said Caden Marge.
Fitting, of course, Marge’s prayers for Stott came as he rooted against the Angels.
Marge, his mom and dad, younger sister and several of his Little League teammates stood behind the batting cage Friday night and met Stott and teammates such as Kyle Schwarber before the Phillies played Arizona at Citizens Bank Park.
”I want to get the Phillies to sign stuff,” Marge said. ”The whole team. And we’re going to get them to sign my hat!”
How about a bat? Stott, a 24-year-old rookie shortstop, autographed one his own bats, ”To Caden. Thanks For The Help! Go Phils!”
Joe Marge and his family, from West Chester, Pennsylvania, attended their first Phillies game of the year Sunday in section 203 out in right field when TV cameras caught Caden praying and seemingly in tears, willing Stott to go deep. Stott won the game after Bryce Harper tied it with a grand slam in the eighth, and the Phillies rallied for a 9-7 victory.
”That’s just him being him. He lives and dies with every pitch, every score, any team,” Joe Marge said.
The kid’s reaction blew up around Philadelphia and throughout baseball and was noticed by Stott.
Stott first tweeted over a clip of the home run ”The kid in the stands is unreal!!!” Joe Marge saw the tweet and reached out to the blossoming slugger with pop in his bat and power in prayer. Stott tweeted, ”Awesome!! Send me a direct message and I’ll see if we can get you guys down to meet some of the guys during BP.”
They all met up on Friday.
The Marge family already had tickets — Caden’s Little League team is the Diamondbacks and they wanted to catch the big league team up close. The Phillies, though, invited everyone to watch from section 115 down the first base line.
Caden’s favorite player before the big swing was Harper. Now, it’s a tie with Stott.
The Marge family couldn’t believe their luck.
”We’re seeing it everywhere,” Joe Marge said. ”People are using his face for reactions.”
Even better, the Phillies took a seven-game winning streak into the game — thanks in large part on a dinger and a prayer.
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