Phillies World Series: South Jersey family returns Rhys Hoskins’ Game 5 NLCS home run ball

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Kevin Hartwell, of Mullica Township, was at the game with his 10-year-old daughter, Lia, and his 9-year-old son Kevin.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Bryce Harper’s two-run home run helped get the Phillies to the World Series, but it was Rhys Hoskins who got things going earlier in the game.

Game 5 was scoreless until Hoskins belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

But what you didn’t see on TV is what happened in the stands.

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Kevin Hartwell, of Mullica Township, was at the game with his 10-year-old daughter, Lia, and his 9-year-old son Kevin.

Somehow the home run ball came right to them.

“Yea that ball must have bounced off somebody to my side, then off someone behind me. It was coming down rows. I jumped on it and picked it up,” recalled Hartwell.

“Everybody was so happy that they were pushing everyone and I was trying to hold onto my dad so I wouldn’t fall!” recalled Lia.

“I didn’t know who caught it and I was like, ‘Who caught it?’ And then he raised his hand with the ball in it!” added 9-year-old Kevin.

On Tuesday, Hartwell says they returned the ball to Hoskins — and what they received in return was even better.

“We got a signed bat, two signed balls by Rhys Hoskins. And we got pictures with him! It’s probably the most amazing day of my life,” said an excited Lia.

“He said he’s thankful for us because he wanted that ball. He said he was giving us the stuff because we were being generous by giving him the ball back,” added Kevin.

Now, this family has two memories to last a lifetime.

“It just feels good. He deserved that ball,” said Hartwell.

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