Phillies fan Steve Monforto caught his first-ever foul ball Tuesday night, but when the beaming dad presented the souvenir to his daughter, the 3-year-old promptly tossed it back onto the field in a priceless moment caught on video.
"As the ball was coming up I was just thinking, 'Don’t drop it Steve -- or I'll have all of Citizens Bank Park booing me,'" said Monforto.
Monforto coolly made the catch and proudly handed the trophy to his daughter Emily while fans watched and television cameras rolled. When the oblivious little girl threw the ball back onto the field, his initial shock soon gave way to a heartwarming paternal gesture that has gone viral.
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"I think she was startled by the reaction of the fans around us -- there was a collective gasp," said Monforto, 32. "She was also startled by the look on my face. I just wanted to let her know it was OK -- that she didn’t do anything wrong.
"We play catch all of the time," Monforto added. "I think she was thinking, 'Oh great I’m going to have a catch with dad -- Dad gave me a ball, let’s throw it!'"
Monforto attended the Phillies-Nationals game with Emily, his wife Kathleen and their 15-month-old Cecelia. It was Emily’s sixth Phillies game.
So is Emily invited to another baseball game with her dad anytime soon?
"I'll have to think about that," said Monforto, laughing.