Video of Springfield 6-year-old’s moment with Reds’ Joey Votto goes viral

Noah Peterson gets baseball and fist bump from Reds first baseman during game

Brandon Peterson, of Springfield, grew up going to Riverfront Stadium. He knows Great American Ball Park well. He’s a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan.

Until Tuesday, Peterson had never been to Wrigley Field in Chicago. His sons, Brandon Jr., 8, and Noah, 6, both Catholic Central Elementary School students, have become big baseball fans and watch the Reds every day. That’s why Peterson drove them and his daughter, Abbigail, a 2021 Catholic Central graduate who finished her high school basketball career as the school’s all-time leading scorer, from Springfield to Chicago for the game.

Peterson never could have imagined the memories the family would gain from the experience. After the bottom of the sixth inning, as the Reds returned to the dugout, a Wrigley Field usher got the attention of Reds first baseman Joey Votto and pointed out a young fan: Noah.

Votto pointed to Noah and motioned for him to walk down the steps to the netting separating the field from the stands. Peterson was quick enough with his phone to film the moment. Votto gave a baseball to Noah, who was wearing a Reds hat and T-shirt, and then a fist bump.

The whole encounter lasted about five seconds, but the Bally Sports cameras also filmed the moment, and the official Reds Twitter account shared the video. As of Wednesday morning, it had been viewed more than 144,000 times. The same video, shared by Jared Carrabis, of Barstool Sports, had been viewed more than 423,000 times.

“I was so surprised by how viral it went,” said Peterson, 46, a Springfield native and North High School graduate who coached girls basketball at Catholic Central the last six seasons. “I woke up this morning, and I had friends who said it was on Fox News. I had a friend out in Phoenix who said it was on the news there. We talked about it the whole way home. Noah is sheepishly shy about it.”

The day started with Brandon Jr. getting a baseball from Tyler Naquin, of the Reds. Brandon Jr. and Noah got photos with Naquin and Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama and autographs from reliever Sean Doolittle.

The usher noticed Brandon Jr. had a baseball while Noah didn’t and told Peterson she would try to get Votto’s attention.

“Joey saw her at the last moment,” Peterson said. “He saw Noah and waved to him. I ran down there. It was an amazing moment.”

Votto hit two home runs earlier in the game, paving the way for a 7-4 victory against the Cubs, and also threw out a runner at home plate. He’s well known for interacting with fans during game. This was just the latest example.

Peterson said if he could talk to Votto, he would say, “No. 1, thanks for creating the most amazing memory, not only for my son but for me. You get to see the human aspect of people when you’re in sports. For him to create that moment in the heat of competition, it just goes beyond words.”

About the Author