St. Louis Cardinals rookie shortstop Masyn Winn did get a souvenir baseball to take home after recording his first major league hit in his MLB debut.
But it wasn’t easy to get the ball after New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso tossed it into the stands.
The 21-year-old Winn was playing in his first MLB game Friday night when he beat out a dribbler down the third-base line for his first career hit in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Alonso, after being told to throw the ball out of play, tossed it over the netting and into the first base stands, behind the Cardinals dugout.
“I had no idea,” Winn said. “When I got to first I couldn’t really think about everything else. But when I heard (first base coach Stubby Clapp) was right there, and he talked to Pete, he was like, ‘Did you just throw that ball in the stands?’
“I don’t even think he knew at first. He apologized on first [base] and then when he got to second [base] later, he apologized as well. It was a complete accident. I thought it was quite funny, especially when we got the ball back.”
Alonso said he felt the weight of his mistake.
“I feel awful,” Alonso said, “I didn’t mean to. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s just a bad brain fart. I know throwing the ball in the stands, that robs him of kind of a really special moment. I feel really bad thinking back on my first hit, and just getting the ball thrown back to the dugout. I feel awful. I feel like a piece of crap. It’s just in the heat of the moment you kind of get lost.”
Highlights from Mets’ victory over Cardinals
After the Busch Stadium crowd erupted in a chant of “Give it back!,” the fan who got the ball gave it to a team security official in the top of the sixth inning.
“I was trying not to crack at short when I heard it,” Winn said. “It was very funny, and I’m really glad she gave it back, and I’m glad I got to sign a ball for her.”
Winn said after the game that he isn’t keeping the ball for himself.
“I think everybody’s going to remember their first big league hit or first big league strikeout,” Winn said. “I’m super excited I got the ball back. I’m hoping I get to the first extra-base hit, and my mom can get the first hit.”
Winn, the Cardinals’ second-round pick in the 2020 MLB draft, went 1-for-4 in the Cardinals’ 7-1 loss to the Mets.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more