An autograph from a player? That's cool. Having a catch with a player? Even better. But getting to throw from the bullpen mound -- the same one the pros use while getting ready? Now that's the pinnacle.
For one lucky Astros fan on Thursday, that dream became a reality. Before the Astros took on the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium, Houston bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte was having a game of catch with some Astros fans. He then invited one lucky fan to emerge from the crowd to stand atop the mound and make his throws like one of the big leaguers.
While the bullpen warm-up may have been a new addition to his arsenal, Bracamonte makes it a habit of interacting with fans. Just a few days ago, he posted a video of another toss:
And, after the Astros were eliminated by the Royals in the 2015 postseason, Bracamonte became a legend when he emptied out his equipment bag and tossed the contents to the Royals fans. "Candy, gum, baseballs, shin guards, chest protectors, gloves -- really, anything that was in Bracamonte's equipment bag was emptied out and given away," MLB.com's Alyson Footer wrote. "Some items went to kids. Others to the hecklers who had been razzing him all night."
Bracamonte may never have been a Major League star, but he's made big league dreams come true for plenty of fans during his 17-year career with the Astros.