TORONTO – Scott Bell looked inside his 33-year-old light brown Rawlings ball glove, a huge grin on his face. Inside that glove, which he got when he was 12, was the ball Edwin Encarnacion had just hit 436 feet.
This was the ball that made it 2-2 in a decisive Game 5, that started an unreal Toronto Blue Jays comeback you couldn’t have scripted.
“I’m going to sleep with it,” Bell said, smiling.
Bell is 45, but he looked about 12 when he talked about that ball, the grey hair peaking out of his Blue Jays ball cap. “Wanna see it?”
It was the bottom of the sixth, and the Toronto Blue Jays trailed the Texas Rangers 2-1 when Encarnacion hit a dinger to the 200-level in left field, and right at Bell. He spent the rest of the inning mugging for pictures, and even rubbing the ball on other fans for luck.
“This is the best moment of my life,” Bell said. He’s co-owner of a lumber company, based out of Renfrew, Ont. He watched every game of the Blue Jays World Series runs in the ‘90s, but this is his first playoff game in person, thanks to a buddy who has season’s tickets.
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It’s a long drive from his hometown, which is near Ottawa.
Bell said no amount of money would make him give up that baseball. He’s keeping it for himself.
There could be one exception, though. It is Encarnacion’s first-ever post-season home run ball. Asked what he might do should Encarnacion ask him for it, Bell took a deep breath.
“I’m going to think about it,” he said. Then he handed over his business card, in case Encarnacion wants to get in touch.