Sunday night Mariners-Angels brawl was memorable in itself, with six players and both managers sent off.
What happened next, however, offered a few examples of how something good — and perhaps even heartwarming — can result from less-than-ideal circumstances.
Seven-year-old Cincinnati Reds fan Abigail Courtney was at the game with her family to see two of her favorite players, ex-Reds Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez of the Mariners. But when Winker was hit by a pitch in the second inning that left both benches empty, he and Suarez were among those ejected.
It was a cruel memory of what happened to abigail last year when she and her family traveled to San Diego to see the Reds and especially Joey Votto, but Votto was ejected in the first inning for arguing over a check-swing.
But as was the case with Votto a year agoAbigail’s story had a happy ending when Winker learned that his young fan was disappointed and sent her an autographed baseball.
At the same time, another Winker fan half a continent away was concerned about the outfielder and wanted to find a way to cheer him up.
Then Sophie Dill had an idea. From her home in Arkansas, she found a local pizza parlor on Doordash, just a few miles from Angel Stadium.
On the resulting Twitter thread, she gave a virtual play-by-play account of her delivery boy Simranjeet Singh’s efforts to get the pizza to Winker’s in the visitors’ clubhouse.
After Winker herself confirmed that the pie had arrived, Dill made a point to show her appreciation for the successful delivery by sharing Singh’s Venmo information and encouraging Mariners fans to tip.
According to The Athletic, the donations poured inwith Singh estimating Sunday evening that between 300 and 400 people had already contributed.
“I still can’t explain what happened to me in the past five hours,” he said. “I’m still in my dreams right now. This is a life-changing birth for me right now. I’m very grateful to Sofie.”
Though things heat up on the pitch Sunday night, a little girl finally got an autograph from one of her favorite players and a pizza delivery boy took a trip to the stadium he’ll never forget.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jesse Winker ejected, but young fan and delivery boy have memories