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The Right Thing
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You are a baseball fan. You have been going to your team’s games since you were three. Now you are an adult, a dad with two girls. So you take your family to the game.

During a game something happens that has never happened to you before. A foul ball comes your way. You catch it, bare-handed. You have always wanted to catch a foul ball, and keep it as a souvenir, and it has finally happened. Your buddies cheer you. You high-five your three-year-old daughter, and toss her the ball. She catches it, just like she had done with you in your yard. Then she tosses it back into the field. What do you do, dad?

This happened to Steve Monforto at a Philadelphia Phillies game in September 2009. His reaction? He hugged his daughter. When she tossed the ball over the rail, everyone around her acted shocked. She thought she must have done something wrong, and started to become upset. Steve saw this, and did not want her to think that she had been bad, so he hugged her.

He did what a good father should do—swallow his disappointment at losing the foul ball, and looked after his daughter. After all, she had not done anything bad—she did not know you were supposed to keep the ball. She thought that she must have hit someone with it. Otherwise why was everyone so upset? So Steve let his daughter know that everything was OK.

Feel-good Moment

What he did not know was that his catch, her throw, and his hug had been caught on camera. His instinctive action became a feel-good moment for thousands who watched it.

It is said that class is doing the right thing, even though nobody is watching. Monforto did not know that anyone was watching. He did what he did because he thought it was the right thing to do. As a result, everyone who saw the clip got a lesson in parenting.

Even if the moment had not been caught on camera, it would have been the right thing to do. And God would have watched Steve hug his daughter, and smile as He marked it on His scorecard.

The Phillies management later gave Steve a new ball. It was signed by the batter who fouled the ball Steve caught. Yet Monforto’s real reward came before that, when his daughter hugged him back, and showered him with the love that only a three-year-old can give a father.

I hope that if I am ever in a similar situation, I will do half as well as Steve Monforto.

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By Mark N. Lardas. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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