Taking Home a Home Run

Wheeler’s triumphant moment at the Cardinals game


Jessica Gibson

Mr. Wheeler had a thrill of a lifetime this summer when he caught the game-winning homerun. He enjoyed it with his daughter and her boyfriend.

Alyssa Bailey, Reporter

Imagining one of the greatest moments of your life is not only a goal, but a dream come true and for Mr. Wheeler. That very dream became his reality and was also captured on TV.

Wheeler managed to snag a game-winning winning walk-off home run ball at a Cardinals game on July 30. The Cardinals defeated the Colorado Rockies in a dramatic 5-4 victory in 10 innings on Marcell Ozuna’s home run. Wheeler was in the first row in the centerfield bleachers when he got the ball.

The Rockies had a 4-0 lead in the game and a lot of fans left before the Cardinals rallied late. Wheeler decided to stay and it was the 10th inning when Ozuna came up to bat. He hit a fastball that went straight into Wheeler’s direction towards the centerfield bleachers.

Wheeler knew the ball was coming straight ahead for him and from that amazing hit, he got the ball after briefly bobbling it from his seat in the first row in the bleachers.

Ever since that night, he’s been spotted and shown catching the ball on TV and on different sports channels describing the triumphant event.

Wheeler can be spotted on the MLB page by clicking the link below:


“I was on SportsCenter for like the whole day because it was Marcell Ozuna’s first ever walk-off home run,” Wheeler said. “After the game, Dakota Hudson wrote on Twitter, ‘Whoever caught that home run ball, I wanna give all my money too.’ I didn’t get the money but I do have the ball.”

The game was also the rookie pitcher Hudson’s first career victory.

From then on, Wheeler’s phone had been blowing up from texts and tweets.

“I saw it first on Twitter and then once I got to school, I pulled it up on my office computer,” assistant principal Mr. Pryor said. “I was excited to see that he actually still had the ball and to hear his version of the story.”

Wheeler, along with his daughter and her boyfriend who accompanied him, were not only surprised but ecstatic from that moment.

Jessica Gibson
Mr. Wheeler was able to get the ball signed from Marcell Ozuna from a connection with Kate Benes’ family.

“On the drive home, I was just smiling and just thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that happened.’ My phone was blowing up too because people saw me on TV and were wondering if that was really me. It was amazing,” Wheeler said.

Not to mention that this was also his daughter’s last baseball game before she went to college.

Going to this baseball game wasn’t just special because of his winning catch, it was also special to him because this had been a tradition of Mr. Wheeler and his daughter ever since she was in the 3rd grade. Along with that, her boyfriend had never been to a Cardinals game before so he joined the Wheelers and got to not only see the Cardinals winning, but the victorious hit and catch.

Senior Kate Benes and her family helped Wheeler out by getting his ball signed by Ozuna. The Benes’ have connections with the Cardinals team, which enabled Wheeler to get an autograph.

“The guy that helps with the Cardinals clubhouse actually lives right down the street from us so my dad and him are really good friends, and my uncle has played for the Cardinals so we have a lot of connections there,” Benes said.

All things considered, that game actually kick-started a winning streak from the Cardinals and they have been doing amazingly since then, which Wheeler believes is partially to his catch.

On the drive home from the game, the Wheelers were all smiles with what happened at the game and the fact that they got to spend time together before her departure. This game will not only be memorable in sports history, but more so in Mr. Wheeler’s book because of the company he had at the game.