One of the most thrilling parts of attending a baseball game as a kid is the chance of catching a foul ball.
One young Arizona Diamondbacks fan finally lived the dream, being the lucky one to snag a foul ball at Chase Field—but then things took an unexpected turn that had everybody talking.
Ian McMillan was a 12-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, and was a huge fan of the hometown Diamondbacks. He was attending a game with his friends one afternoon, against the Miluakee Brewers.
During the fourth inning, the boys lucked out: one of the players from the visiting team ran up to the stands to toss a foul ball to the fans. Naturally, McMillan and his buddies ran up to try and grab it, along with several other young fans.
McMillan lucked out: the player tossed him the ball, and he was thrilled. He waved the ball in the air and triumphantly went back to his seat.
But another young fan was… less-thrilled. He and his mother had tried to get the ball as well, and he was visibly upset that he missed out.
Somebody in the stands pointed this out to McMillan. He was a kid too, and no one would’ve blamed him for keeping the ball for himself, guilt-free. But instead, he had a change of heart… and decided, on his own, to do the right thing.
He went over and handed the kid the ball.
Besides the kid being upset, McMillan noticed that the kid was a Brewers fan—the ball, coming from one of the Milwaukee players, would’ve meant a lot more to him—and was probably meant to be tossed to him anyway.
Little did McMillan know, the whole thing was broadcast on television.
The game’s commentators weighed in on the whole situation as it played out:
“Are you kidding me? This kid is going to do this?”
“What a nice young man.”
“I can’t believe I just witnessed that. You, young man, are a star.”
McMillan only became aware of this when he suddenly started receiving a lot of calls from home:
“When they first saw me on television, I got about 70 text messages and calls in about 30 minutes,” he told ABC15.
But it was one in particular that really made his day: a call from the Diamondbacks staff.
An employee invited the boys into the stadium for a surprise.
They handed McMillan a bat—and he was thrilled to see it was autographed by his favorite player, outfielder Justin Upton.
The boys enjoyed the rest of the game—but that wasn’t even the end of it.
McMillan was later invited back to the stadium—this time, to receive his own uniform, given to him by then-Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson.
He even got his own press conference:
“I just thought it was the right thing to do,” he told reporters. He also talked about how he had become more popular with his peers since the incident.
But even that wasn’t the end of it—as the feel-good story kept going viral, the team kept rewarding their young ambassador. They gave him box seats, batting practice with the players, and even the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a game.
Of course, what’s nice about the story is how selfless the act was—the kid genuinely did it out of the goodness of his heart, not expecting anything in return or even recognition.
But it’s nice to know that sometimes, good deeds do go rewarded. McMillan ended up with a priceless experience—something worth much more than a foul ball.