SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The mom and daughter from a now-viral moment at Petco Park with Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto say they couldn't be happier with how the weekend ended, despite the Reds being swept by the San Diego Padres.
During Saturday's game against the Friars, Votto was tossed after a heated exchange with umpires. In a photo that almost immediately went viral, 6-year-old Abigail, of Greenville, Ohio, was devastated to see her favorite player thrown out.
"The umpire said mean things to Joey and I was so angry at him," Abigail said.
Abigail and her mom, Kristin Courtney, are big fans of the Reds and Votto specifically, even naming their dog after him. So seeing their favorite player was an instant downer.
"Ever since Barry Larkin retired, Joey Votto became my favorite player and I think it started for her because of our dog, but then she started playing t-ball and she loves playing first base," said Kristin.
Not long after Kristin tweeted that picture, the Reds responded and gave Abigail a ball autographed by Votto.
"That was definitely a big surprise getting the ball from Mr. Votto," said Kristin.
I have an update on the sad Abigail situation! It took a couple of innings, but she eventually cheered up with some popcorn! And Joey Votto is SO KIND- he signed this amazing ball for her!! Thank you so much Mr. Votto & the wonderful @Reds ❤️⚾️ pic.twitter.com/aIsHx3r42N— Kristin (@SuperBarry11) June 20, 2021
But that wasn't all. The team asked if they'd like to come back Sunday, leaving some special tickets at will call.
"Blown away by the offer the kindness and then when we got there the tickets were right behind the dugout which was a huge surprise," said Kristin.
Photos show how Abigail spent her afternoon, just steps away from Votto and the rest of the team, that smile never seeming to leave her face. And she's still smiling today.
Today was AMAZING!!! ❤️⚾️ Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to Joey Votto & the @Reds for the wonderful tickets to today’s game & for taking the time to meet with Abigail. She is absolutely thrilled & couldn’t have had a better weekend! Thank you for making it so special! pic.twitter.com/n0JL8YAUIJ— Kristin (@SuperBarry11) June 21, 2021
"Thanks everyone for being so excited about me," Abigail said.
Kristin says in addition to the signed ball, Abigal also got a bat and player towel during Sunday's game, and they received a gift card to buy more Reds gear.