Sports

Idahoans catch Bryce Harper’s 100th home run ball; meet him postgame

From left to right, Misty Martin of Lewiston, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Emily Koleno of Boise, Clint Paskewitz of Boise, Jay Martin of Lewiston, Bob Ricketts of Meridian, Randy Pipal of Meridian and Lauren Martin of Lewiston (in pink).
From left to right, Misty Martin of Lewiston, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Emily Koleno of Boise, Clint Paskewitz of Boise, Jay Martin of Lewiston, Bob Ricketts of Meridian, Randy Pipal of Meridian and Lauren Martin of Lewiston (in pink). Provided by Emily Koleno

Seven Idahoans, all from Boise, Meridian and Lewiston, were in Washington, D.C., last week for an annual legislative conference put on by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

At one point in the day, they skipped out for a baseball game.

And it turned into the memory of a lifetime.

The Idahoans went to the Washington-Atlanta game at Nationals Park, where the official attendance was listed at 21,144.

In the third inning, outfielder and 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper blasted his first major-league grand slam, also his 100th career home run. The ball bounced off an electronic signboard and landed in the melee of the seven Idahoans.

“It was a pretty incredible experience,’’ said Emily Koleno, an operations manager at Associated Insurance Services of Boise. “We’d only just sat down and suddenly this hugely symbolic baseball fell in Misty’s lap. Luckily Misty (Martin of Lewiston) handed it to Lauren (Martin of Lewiston) in a split second and Lauren got to give it back to Bryce Harper.’’

Lauren is the 10-year-old daughter of Misty and Jay Martin, and she got credit for ending up with the ball, but all seven Idahoans were invited to meet Harper after the game. They exchanged the ball for some swag, some autographs and a few pictures.

Scott Allen of The Washington Post wrote about the encounter in his DC Sports Bog.

And the Washington Nationals tweeted a photo of the returned ball in a display case.

 

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