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Ohio Baseball Fans Stand In Line To Get Reds Batboy’s Autograph
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A crew from a national cable TV sports channel has spent a lot of time in Cincinnati during the past year. While a good portion of their time has been at the home of the Cincinnati Reds the team has not been their focus.
ESPN has been following the story of Teddy Kremer, a 30-year-old with Down Syndrome who’s been the team’s honorary bat boy three times and now has a job with the organization .
At a Thursday business special before the game at Great American Ball Park, kids and adults line the seats near first base, calling for autographs from players like Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart and Brandon Phillips.
But there’s another guy in the park giving autographs. On the 4th level near section 520, people come looking for Teddy Kremer.
“Hey Teddy, can we get a picture with ya,? I love it. Ive seen you on TV a few times. Do you give autographs? Yes.”
Teddy first received notoriety after being the Reds honorary batboy last August. His parents had won the opportunity in a benefit auction.
Teddy earned fan and media attention because of his positive attitude and unbridled enthusiasm. And this season the Reds offered him a job in fan accommodations.
Teddy’s mom, Cheryl says its hard to estimate how many people have heard about her son but there’s been correspondence from as far away as Malaysia, Australia and Europe.
“You hear of people, that, oh, you know, I have a friend who has a child who has Down Syndrome and they are inspired or they really like to see what Teddy can do and how much he’s been able to accomplish,” Says Cheryl Kremer.
When Teddy was born 30 years ago, Cheryl says the medical profession didn’t offer a positive prognosis. But, with the help of their pediatrician, she and husband Dave followed a plan that has not only helped Teddy thrive but succeed. And now, she says, they’re proud that Teddy has inspired so many people.
“It came at a good time. People needed an uplifting story about people that can succeed. No matter what the disability, no matter how hard you may think you have it. You can overcome a lot,” Says Cheryl Kremer.
Since his first appearance on the field, Teddy has been honorary bat boy three times. Hes ridden in the Opening Day Parade, signed autographs with the team and now works for the organization.
Teddy says there’s really only one way to describe how much he likes all of it.
“Awesome, awesome I love it so much, I love it,” Teddy Kremer says.
Away from the ballpark, Teddy is also an accomplished athlete.
He plays softball and has medals for swimming. He’s a competitive horseback rider and a champion ballroom dancer.
Teddy is also sought out by groups as a guest speaker and displays a witty sense of humor. During a recent talk, a man asked Teddy if he’d be interested in being bat boy for a different team.
“He said to me, would you be a bat boy for Milwaukee. I said..um..next question please,” says Teddy.
Teddy is the reason Chris Kalla, of Lima, Ohio, brought his 4-year-old daughter to the ballpark after hearing about Teddy in the newspapers and on TV.
“We thought it would be great to have Jenny meet somebody who also has Down Syndrome and see that she can do whatever she wants when she grows up,” Says Kalla.
Teddy’s presence has been good for the players as well. At an April game against the Marlins, he asked Reds third baseman Todd Frazier to hit a home run.
“And I said let’s go, let’s go let’s do it and in the bottom of the 6th inning he did it,” says Teddy.
That night, Fox Sports Ohio cameras spent a lot of time focused on Teddy and more fans got inspired.
Dave Kremer says, when he and Cheryl bid $300 so Teddy could be a bat boy for just one night they had no idea how many people would benefit.
It was probably more than a lot of people would pay for something like that but it was like it was priceless, you know, now that we’ve seen everything that has happened,”says Dave Kremer.
There’s a Topps baseball card with Teddy on its way and some fans are hoping for a bobblehead. This fall hell be featured in a segment on ESPN.
Teddy says he loves his life, he loves his family and he loves working for the Reds. And whenever they want or need him back in the dugout all they have to do is call.
“So, I say I waiting for the phone call, so I be down there, I promise, I be there,” adds Teddy.