Coach Rob Querry made a deal with his high school baseball team earlier in the season: Win 14 games and he'd let them name his unborn son, due in September.
Here's the thing: The school has never had a winning baseball season. The Heritage High Panthers finished last year with a 9-16 record—ouch!—and they had already lost the first two games of this season. So with his team average firmly below the Mendoza line, the coach probably figured the challenge would be a shut out.
But like they say, it ain't over 'til it's over. Because it turns out, the boys came to play, and yesterday they stepped up to the plate and threw Coach Querry a curveball by winning their 14th game.
Say it ain't so, Joe!
Now it's a whole new ballgame for the team, who scored not just bragging rights, but naming rights as well. And the moniker they came up with is a good one: Benjamin Smalls, after two characters from the 1993 baseball movie The Sandlot, in which a character named Scotty Smalls shows his teammates a baseball signed by Babe Ruth which their best hitter, Benjamin Rodriguez, then accidentally hits into the yard of a neighbor.
Solid choice! Though when the coach's wife Julia heard about the name prior to the win, she apparently wasn't totally on board. "She's not too happy with it," senior starter Christian Grubb told Florida Today last week.
Looks like the expectant mama eventually came around and decided to take one for the team, because she sent out this tweet following the 14th win: "Heritage Panthers win 8-1!! BENNY SMALLS IT IS! #PANTHERPRIDE#PANTHERFAMILY#14wins."
Attitude is everything, Julia! And with you and Rob calling the shots, something tells us your little slugger is definitely gonna come out swinging!