SEATTLE — It was the moment that ended the Mariners’ playoff drought and a catch a 17-year-old for Puyallup will never forget.
Marchany Roman was at the Mariners game with his family last Friday, and he was in the perfect spot to watch Cal Raleigh hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth that sent the M’s to the playoffs.
"Nothing, nothing will ever compare to that moment," said Roman.
Friday's game was the first Major League Baseball (MLB) game Roman had ever been to. The teen's stepfather bought the family tickets to celebrate Roman making a club baseball team. His dream is to one day play in the MLB.
When Raleigh hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth, it bounced and headed right towards Roman's seat.
"At that moment my adrenalin kicked,” recalled Roman. “I mean, I'm pretty sure I never jumped that high before.”
The Mariners' 21-year drought ended when the ball landed in Roman's glove. He said the post-game was a blur, but it was filled with lots of cheers. However, he remembers the moment he gave the ball back to Raleigh.
"I told [Raleigh] the ball means a lot to you, your family, your team. It means a lot to all of you guys,” said Roman. “The ball means a lot to me, as well. My first ever game, home run, first catch but it will always mean a lot to him more than it will ever mean to me. It was the right thing to do.”
Raleigh signed a different ball and a bat for Roman, who is grateful he could play a part in MLB history. He plans to use the glove as he continues his baseball career on his club team.
"This is going to be my good luck charm from now on,” said Roman. “So every time I play baseball, it's going to give me the luck that I need.”