The cry from behind the Rays’ dugout was not the most common one, but it’s not like Evan Longoria had never heard it before.
“Evan!,” the young boy bellowed. “Can I have your batting gloves?”
Longoria, out by the batting cage on McKechnie Field in Bradenton, decided to engage. “I need them to hit. What am I supposed to do when I hit?” The boy looked back, startled and without riposte. “Yes. I’m talking to you. About batting gloves. I mean, if I give them to you, what do I use? Can I use your instead?”
Now the boy was back on more familiar ground. “My batting gloves are in my bag in the car.” Longoria played peeved, but evidently was, in fact, charmed.
“Maybe I should give you everything I use. Gloves, bat, cap. I just won’t hit.”
The boy became thoughtful. “No, don’t do that.”
Seemingly the end of the exchange, and Longoria went ahead and hit. And as soon as he finished, he ambled back to the Rays’ dugout without looking at the boy. And he popped back up and slapped a bat on the dugout and, with a big smile, pushed it towards the youngster, and raced off to shag fly balls before the boy or his mother could even say thanks.