One hopeful Phillies fan flew from Japan to Philadelphia to meet franchise legend Jimmy Rollins, and he was able to get his wish Saturday night.
Saturday night’s game against the Nationals did not end well for the Phillies as they suffered a 10-8 loss. However, one fan who made quite the long trek was able to meet one of his idols, Jimmy Rollins, on the night of his retirement ceremony.
Reddit user givemebackmybrain posted an image of a mutual friend, Seito, who flew from Japan to come to the game. Dressed in a full Rollins uniform, the fan held a sign with a picture of him as a nine-year-old posing with Rollins. He mentored Seito in Tokyo way back in 2002, and Seito came to Philadelphia to see Rollins’ retirement ceremony and hopefully meet him.
Seito had seats behind the home dugout and held the sign the whole time. Rollins noticed the sign as he was heading off the field after the pregame festivities, but that was all for the time being.
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Later on during the game, the two tried their luck getting into the luxury suites to no avail initially. Bonnie, a woman who works for the team, took them from guest services up to the suite where Rollins was to meet him.
givemebackmybrain recorded Seito getting the chance to make his “dreams come true.” Rollins took a few pictures with Seito and signed his jersey.
Rollins also showed Seito’s sign to his family as they all relished in a time long ago. Rollins even commented on the hairstyle he had back in 2002!
Rollins mentioned that he would return to Japan in 2020, so maybe he and Seito will get the chance to reconnect in the future.
Moments like these show the international impact MLB can have. Events like the All-Star Tour and Japan Opening Series will connect the existing devout baseball fandom in Japan with MLB. More people like Seito who grow up idolizing current MLB players can have similar moments in the future.