Father Finds Joey Votto Home Run Ball for Son's Memorial Wall
A stranger reached out to give the family the solo home run ball that Votto hit, which had a lot of sentimental value for their child.
Photo by David Kohl—USA TODAY Sports
In October, Walter "Superbubz" Herbert lost a fight to pediatric cancer when he was just six years old. Just over a month before he passed away, while in the midst of his two-year treatment for neuroblastoma, his family took him to a Cincinnati Reds game on August 31 that his father Wally described as "the day I saw my kid most excited."
On that day, in the seventh inning, Joey Votto blasted a solo home run against the Mets, walked over to Walter and gave him the jersey off his back, along with the home run bat. Wally said of his son, per Cincinnati.com, "When we took him to the game where he first met Joey, he would not sit down. That kid, through nine innings, screamed."
After Walter passed away, Wally felt like he was missing just one thing for the memorial wall he built for his son: the home run ball itself. Wally tried to crowdsource it by posting on Facebook that he was looking for the ball itself to complete the memorial of Walter's day at the park. And it just recently, a stranger reached out to Wally to tell him he had the ball.
"I have a three-year-old son who would like to give you and your family something very special for Christmas," Trey Jones wrote to Wally. "We have the home run ball."
After seeing video of Votto giving the jersey and bat to Walter, Jones tried to get the ball back to Wally by emailing the Reds but he never heard back from them. But when news spread that Wally was looking for the ball, Jones was able to track him down on Facebook. The families are set to meet on December 22, where Jones's three-year-old son will give them a game ball he no doubt loved too.
"The reason why I want my son to give it to him is it was his first Reds game ever and Joey Votto hit him a home run ball," Jones said, per Cincinnati.com.
"I can't imagine what they are going through right now," Jones said. "Especially with the holidays, first Christmas without their son, so any way we can help them out, we will."