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Nationals contact Virginia little league family after man snatches their ball at game

Washington Nationals outfielder Joey Meneses threw a baseball to some young fans during a game at Nats Park last week, but then an adult got in the way.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals may have a surprise in store for a softball player from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Last Thursday, the Nationals invited the Shenandoah Rec League Babe Ruth 10U All-Star Softball team to Nationals Park for Youth Champions Day 2022. The Washington Nationals took on the Oakland Athletics during a night game.

Just before the top of the ninth inning, team parent Regina Hilliard recorded on her phone as her 10-year-old daughter, Avery, gestured to Nationals outfielder Joey Meneses to throw her a baseball.

Hilliard’s video shows Meneses throw the ball toward Avery. Avery is ready with her glove. But, at the very last second, a man wearing a Nationals jersey steps in with his glove, blocks Avery, and catches the ball instead.

One girl from Avery’s team can be overheard on video saying, “what?!"

Regina Hilliard later posted the video of what happened to her daughter on Twitter. The video went viral a few days later attracting more than two million views.

“[Nationals] can you get Joey Meneses to sign a baseball and send it to my daughter?” Hilliard’s tweet reads.

Hilliard said the person who got in the way of her daughter showed no remorse.

“He said he bought a ticket and that he had just as much right to the ball,” she said.

Hilliard said her daughter was disappointed in the man’s actions. The Nationals took notice of the situation faced by the young ball player.

On Tuesday, the major league organization reached out to Hilliard on Twitter.

Hilliard said she talked to the team too. She said she understands the team now plans to send an unspecified item down to Shenandoah.

“It shows the good in the world,” Hilliard said.

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