BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Most kids hope to catch a fly ball from their favorite player, a home run if they are lucky, but one local Dodgers fan got the experience of a lifetime in Saturday’s 22-1 blowout victory against the hapless Diamondbacks.
It was a moment 8-year-old Dodgers Superfan Conner Klassen won’t soon forget.
“I was super excited,” said Klassen.
With bases loaded, Klassen’s favorite Dodger Justin Turner up at the dish and hit his first career grand slam. Klassen watched in awe not knowing that he will be a footnote in this historic moment.
“A few innings later the security guard comes up, brings Connor the bat and is like, ‘Hey, Justin wants to give this to you,’ and we’re all looking at each other like, ‘Is this really happening?” said Jennie Klassen, Conner’s mother. “The guy’s like, ‘Yeah, he just specifically wants to give it to you,’ and we were like, ‘oh my gosh,’ just in shock. I don’t think Connor even spoke, he was just like, just completely shocked.”
There’s a backstory of course. It seems Turner took notice of his number one fan early on.
“The seats we had were like next to third base, so I was like hey Justin, and then sometimes he would look back,” said Conner.
He even tossed Conner a ball before the whole bat ordeal.
“He was super stoked to get the ball but I don’t think Justin saw that he got the ball,” said Jennie Klassen.
It seems number 10 felt a special connection to Conner, beyond the fact that they share a jersey number.
“I had no idea that he’d give me his bat,” said Conner.
His mother, Jennie, was overwhelmed by the joy her son’s eyes.
“It’s still crazy to me. I think at that moment we were so shocked,” she said. “It wasn’t until the next morning that I actually cried happy tears. I’m like this is so sweet, it’s something he’ll never forget. It’s kind of overwhelming that, you know, he gets to have this lifelong memento.”
Two days later, Conner and his mother can’t stop talking about their hero.
“I just say thank you so much,” said Jennie Klassen. “You’re a real icon for these kids and a huge role model and obviously just a really great guy.”
The Klassens plan on getting a case for the bat to hang it in Connor’s Dodger-themed room.