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Hoping to help a young player get back a game ball

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Mirror photo by Cory Giger The ball came from Altoona Area Baseball Association play.

I need some help trying to find the owner of this baseball.

As you can see in the picture, it’s a game ball from two years ago in the Altoona Area Baseball Association.

Somehow, the ball ended up in my batting practice bucket of balls two weeks ago. While not certain where it came from, my son’s team practices on the field at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, so I’m guessing it was left there.

Hopefully through word of mouth someone can get me in touch with the family so that the young slugger can get his ball back. Email me at cgiger@altoonamirror.com if you have any information.

It’s not an autographed Babe Ruth ball that’s been lost, such as in the classic film “The Sandlot.” Goodness, can you imagine if your kid took that kind of valuable heirloom out to a local field and lost or damaged it?

But you know what, when your kid gets a game ball from excelling on the field, that is its own special family heirloom.

Any parent out there whose kid has ever earned a game ball can probably tell stories of how proud they were when they found out.

Maybe the kid was thrilled about getting awarded the ball by a coach at the time, but if not, the guess here is that the ball definitely will mean a lot to the ballplayer later in life when he or she grows up.

The kid who lost the game ball that I found may not feel a great sense of loss about it. Not yet, anyway. But hopefully getting the ball back will be a special memory in itself.

My most prized possession is a game ball I got when I was 9 years old for hitting two home runs in a game. I’ve told the story many times over the years, but my dad, who passed in 2006, was the third base coach, and seeing his reaction to those home runs still brings back wonderful memories.

My son, Chase, gave me a tremendous Father’s Day thrill Sunday when he went 3-for-3 with a three-run double in his baseball game. Afterward, our coach gave Chase his very first game ball, and my little guy is so proud of that thing.

But not as proud as daddy.

We have an awesome kid on our team named Levi, and I’ll never forget the look on his face when he was awarded a game ball earlier this season. He’s worked so hard on his hitting, and after going 3-for-3 one day, he earned himself a game ball.

Levi was ecstatic. His eyes got so big, and he smiled from ear to ear. No matter what he ever does in baseball for the rest of the his life, I hope he always remembers that moment. I know I will.

That’s why I want the kid who lost his game ball from two years ago to get it back. Maybe it’s just a baseball to some people, but it will become a treasured life memory for that young boy or girl.

So, check out the picture of the ball, ask around at the AABA fields if you’re out there this season and see if you can track down the owner.

Hopefully he or she not only gets the ball back, but also can have a ball telling the story for years to come of how it was lost and then found.

Cory Giger is the host of “Sports Central” weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. on ‘Toona 1430-AM.

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