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Trip to the Trop extra rewarding for 13-year-old Palm Harbor boy

Elijah Radecki caught Rays infielder Mike Brosseau’s first home run ball, and got rewarded for giving it to him.
Elijah Radecki, 13, was still grinning about catching Mike Brosseau's first career homer on Wednesday. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Elijah Radecki, 13, was still grinning about catching Mike Brosseau's first career homer on Wednesday. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Published Jul. 4, 2019
Updated Jul. 4, 2019

Elijah Radecki was pretty thrilled to have made the catch, and a clean one at that, of a home run ball at his seat in the first row beyond the leftfield fence during Wednesday’s Rays-Orioles game.

More exciting, the 13-year-old from Palm Harbor found out when a Rays employee approached him shortly afterward, that it was Rays rookie infielder Mike Brosseau’s first career home run. Innings later, he was still grinning about his accomplishment.

Radecki came to the game with his dad, Tad, on something of a Wednesday morning spontaneous decision, their first of the season, and got the seats in the front row of the outfield.

He happily traded the home run ball for a ball Brosseau signed during the game, and a Brosseau bat that the Rays will send to his house.

Radecki, heading into ninth grade, said he’d caught foul balls before at other games but it was the first time he’d caught a home run ball. He used to play baseball, and had his own mitt, but now is trying football.

So now that hes shares this bond with Brosseau, does have a new favorite player?

“I like Kevin Kiermaier,'' Radecki said, "but yeah, (Brosseau’s) pretty cool.”

Brosseau was pretty excited about the result as well, with plans to send the keepsake ball to his dad.

"I definitely did not know it was going over,'' he said. "I think you could probably tell by the way I was sprinting around the bases. I really wasn’t taking my time at all. Obviously, a great feeling when I knew it was going over.''