Originally Published: 09 MAY 23 11:46 ET
By Kevin MacLeod
CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (WBZ) — CHELMSFORD – Chelmsford little leaguer Nolan Walsh got a hit in his first at bat Monday night. But his parents — and much of his town — were still buzzing about the 10-year-old’s good fortune last week.
“It is an amazing example of how social media can be used for good,” his father Keith Walsh said.
He’s talking about a saga that began at Fenway Park last Wednesday night, when Nolan wound up with a ball that Rafael Devers tossed into the stands.
“I put it in my glove,” the youngster says, “and then I put the glove on the seat next to us.”
Mark Padilla was sitting nearby in section 80.
“The boy was ecstatic,” Padilla told WBZ. “It was awesome — really fun to watch.”
But Padilla remembers the fuss just minutes after Nolan and his dad left the ballpark — when fans still watching the game discovered the glove and ball left behind.
That’s when Padilla accepted a mission. “I felt like I needed to do the right thing,” Padilla says, “because I didn’t think anyone else would.”
Nolan was almost home when he realized his blunder — and his dad came up empty at Fenway’s lost and found the next day.
Unaware a good Samaritan was on the case — dad figured the glove and ball were gone forever. But fortunately, Mark Padilla had noticed something during the Sox game that would turn out to be critical. Both the boy and his father were wearing Chelmsford Baseball hoodies.
So, the UPS worker wiggled his way into some Chelmsford Community Facebook groups with a plea for help — and bingo — 200 responses within hours — including some Walsh family friends.
“And I immediately called my husband and said ‘This is us! Someone has the glove and the ball!'” recounted Maryann Walsh, the boy’s Mom. “It was amazing.”
And two nights after that game at Fenway — a complete stranger delivered ball and glove back to Nolan — fittingly at this little league field.
“It felt really good,” sighs Padilla with a smile.
And for this good Samaritan — that’s enough.
Although Nolan’s dad hopes to repay the debt — over time.
“Every time I see Mark at Fenway,” Keith Walsh chuckles, “he’s got a hot dog on me for the rest of his life.”
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Red Sox fan return glove and ball
Embargo: Boston, MA Nolan Walsh, age 10, left his baseball glove and a ball given to him by Red Sox player Rafael Devers in the stands at Fenway Park. Mark Padilla, who was sitting near by, used social media to return the ball and glove.
09 May 23