When Brandon Krol’s neighbor asked him to go to the MLB All-Star Game, the 11-year-old had a dilemma. He could miss his own baseball game, or miss out on the opportunity to see the sport’s top players compete in his hometown.
The Tuesday, July 16 New York Warriors game would have been the first Brandon played without his father, Jack, who founded the league. He passed away on June 26 at age 57.
“At first I was excited, then I remembered I had a game,” said Brandon of the All-Star invite.
His Bergen Beach, Brooklyn neighbor, John Reinhardt, who had an extra last-minute ticket, invited him.
“Who better to take to the game than Brandon?” said Reinhardt. “He’s a great ball player, he loves baseball [and] his dad loved baseball.”
Though he did not want to let down his team, Brandon knew that his dad would have wanted him to go to the All-Star Game.
“This is the All-Star Game [..] It will definitely be something to remember,” said Brandon. “I’ll grow up and still cherish this moment.”
His dad would have been happy to see him root for their favorite team, the Yankees, and the American League among the sea of Mets fans and National League supporters at the Citi Field event.
Brandon was outnumbered three-to-one in the group he accompanied to the game. The only one sporting a Yankees shirt, everyone else was a Mets fan.
Brandon and his fellow fans may have been in the minority, but the American League beat the National League 3-0 to win home-field advantage in the World Series. Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera was named MVP.
His dad was a diehard Yankee fan who loved Mickey Mantle, said Brandon. He even had a “lucky” Mickey Mantle shirt and used to wear it to almost every game, the boy recalled.
The young baseball fanatic was hoping to bring home his own baseball keepsake from the All-Star Game.
Brandon brought a special photo of his father and himself wearing New York Warriors jackets in tribute of his “All-Star Dad” to get the players to sign.