Bryce Harper fan

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Why we love sports: Harper makes 4-year-old light up

Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team
July 12, 2019 - 8:56 am

This is why we love sports. 

Four-year-old boy Balor Stamm from Mantua, New Jersey is a big Bryce Harper fan. After missing out on a Bryce Harper autograph, Balor's parents Shaun and Kristen took him to Citizens Bank Park for Mets vs. Phillies on June 24th, 3rd row, section 104 right behind the new Phillies star right fielder. 

Eventually, after a few failed attempts, Harper identified Balor and tossed him a ball. Balor's face says it all. 

Here is the email that Balor's father Shaun wrote to Angelo Cataldi, which Cataldi read on air on Friday (Shaun joined the show as well and the audio is below).


I'm a long time listener and wanted to share a story with you about my 4 year old son, Balor, that loves the sport of baseball and the Phillies.

I've raised him as a big sports fan of all Philly teams, and he was on the Harper mania train with the rest of us during Spring training. In fact, I pulled him from out neighbor's daughter's 3rd birthday party to watch his first spring training at bat. As the season progressed. He became more and more involved with the team as a whole, and can now name all 8 starters and most of the pitching staff.

We took him and my daughter to an afternoon game early in the season and sat by the dugout. When the Phillies came out to stretch before the game, we went up to the railing in hopes of an autograph. Hoskins, Kingery,.McCutchen, Franco, and Harper were all right in front of him and he was shaking with excitement of being so close to them. After warmups, Harper came over to sign autographs, and although his little hand was reaching out with his hat and marker to be signed, Bryce was overwhelmed with things to be signed and was unable to sign Balor's hat. He had signed about 5-10 things and was finished. Most walked away upset or angry feeling snubbed, but he was the only one to take the time to come over and sign, and feeling snubbed was the last thing he and I felt. Simply being in Harper's presence was more than he could have asked for, and being able to wave at and say hi to him was enough for Balor to talk about for weeks.

Fast forward to Balor's 4th birthday, June 24th when the mets were in town. My wife and I got him a Harper jersey and took him to sit 3rd row in section 104 directly behind Harper, but we didn't tell him where the seats were. When the team came out for the 1st, he again began to shake with excitement, waving and saying l, "Hi, Bryce!" 

The usher had come down to tell me that Harper tosses balls right where we were sitting after warmups. 1st inning, he launched the ball into the upper deck. 2nd inning, he recognized my son and I, pointed at us, tossed the ball up...and a girl in the 1st row robbed us with one hell of a diving catch. I kind of threw up my hands in frustration, and Bryce did the same while still looking at us, somewhat laughing. 3rd inning, we went to the railing in the aisle, Bryce looks up again, tosses the ball, and the same girl hit my hand trying to catch the ball for my son. The ball falls down to the warning track. Bruce came over, picked it up, looked up at my son and I looking over the railing, says "I'll make sure I got you this time." He tossed the ball up to my son and I, and pure elation followed. Below is a picture of my son after getting the ball, and to this day he will not sleep without the ball that he says "Bryce Harper gave to [him>."

With all of the negative talk around young kids being excited and interested in baseball, I felt this story was worth sharing with you. I hope this little bit can restore your hope in the future of baseball and its young fans. I'd be glad to share or talk about this story further if you wish.

Thank you for all that you do for Philly, sports talk radio, and journalism.

All the best,

Shaun Stamm


Listen to Shaun on the 94WIP Morning Show below.