Ballplayers Offer Comfort to Bereaved Youngster

Six-year-old Antonio Perez of Cincinnati was at a Reds' baseball game this week with his grandfather, who suffered a fatal heart attack. The boy was swept into the Reds' bullpen and clubhouse, where players kept him company.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Six-year-old Antonio Perez of Cincinnati suffered a terrible loss this week. Some Cincinnati Reds players tried to help him out. The little boy's grandfather took him to the ballpark to see the Reds play the Atlanta Braves. Antonio's grandfather collapsed during the sixth inning. Paramedics summoned to the scene knew he was gone. A security officer needed to take Antonio someplace for two hours while his parents drove in from Hamilton, Ohio, to tell him that his grandfather had died and to take him home. The officer took Antonio into the Cincinnati bullpen, where he sat in players' laps and watched the Reds defeat Atlanta 8-to-5. The center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. swept the little boy into his arms and took him into the clubhouse. He got to slap high fives with the players, who gave him wristbands, bats and baseball hats. Mr. Griffey told The Cincinnati Enquirer, `We play a game. What he was going through doesn't compare. It was important that the little guy not be by himself. We just tried to make a bad situation a little better.'

Later this hour, the grandson of one of music's reigning families goes in another artistic direction. Stay tuned.

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