Salvador Perez delivered on home run promise to young fan

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Salvador Perez is a man of his word.

The Kansas City Royals six-time All-Star catcher met with a fan named Colin Couch, who has cerebral palsy, prior to Friday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. Before returning to his pregame preparation, Perez made one bold promise to Couch.

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Promise made. Promise kept.

Perez wasted no time delivering on the promise, crushing a three-run first-inning home run against Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger.

Perez had hit many meaningful home runs during his career, including five in the postseason. This one had to rank right up there with all of those. Not only was it a prophetic blast, it was the longest hit by a Royals player this season. According to Statcast, Perez’s home run traveled an estimated 454 feet, topping Jorge Soler’s 444-foot homer earlier in the year.

“I was in the cage,” Perez said after the game. “The young guy, I’ve known him for a long time. I’ve met him before. He was outside, I think, and I was in the cage hitting before the game, and [Ned] said, ‘Hey, I want you to come and meet somebody. I know a guy, and I just want you to say hi to him.’ He was so happy. He had my jersey and everything. I gave him one of my wristbands … he has it.

“We were talking, and I said, ‘Hey, if I hit a homer, it’s for you.’ He was so happy. He was excited and all that. After I hit a homer, I was looking and he was close to my family [in the stands]. It was exciting. So it’s happy for me. It’s exciting for me.”

It was also an important moment in the game. Perez’s opened the scoring for Kansas City. In the ninth inning, Hunter Dozier bookended it with a walk-off blast to give the Royals a 5-4 victory.

Other famous home run promises

Perez isn’t the first player to come through on a such a bold promise. The most famous home run promise may have happened in 1926, when New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth said he’d hit a home run for a sick young boy named Johnny Sylvester. 

Sylvester, who was suffering from a serious infection, told his father, “I wish I could see Babe Ruth wallop a homer before I die.” Days later, a package arrived with a baseball signed by Babe Ruth with a note that read, “I’ll knock a homer for you on Wednesday.”

Ruth came through on his promise, and Sylvester ended up seeing many more home runs after recovering from his infection. He lived to be 74.

In more recent seasons, former Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz had a knack for coming through on his promises. According to Ortiz himself, he made three home run promises during his career and delivered on all three.

Said Perez, who had never made such a promise before. “It was the first time. I really need to do it more.”

It’s one of those things that no matter how many times it happens, it’s never any less awesome. That’s because we always know how meaningful it is to those who were rooting for it to happen.

Salvador Perez delivered on his promise to hit home run for a young fan named Colin Couch. (AP)

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