Marlins rookie JJ Bleday had plenty of family in attendance at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday and they made sure to let Phillies fans know their presence after watching Bleday blast his second career home run.
The 24-year-old tied the game at one in the fourth inning when he connected on a Zack Wheeler fastball to send over the wall in an eventual 4-1 loss to the Phillies.
As Bleday rounded first base, the Danville, Pa. native appeared to signal to his family — of which there were about 75 members of wearing gray Marlins T-shirts in the stands.
The camera then showed that contingent celebrating with some women even flipping the bird to a Phillies fan in a Bryce Harper jersey in front of them.
In fairness, the Phillies fan was also sticking the middle finger in their faces and it’s not clear who flashed the bird first, but it was certainly a classic Philadelphia sports fan moment if there ever was one, especially considering many of the Bleday contingent actually had to shed their Phillies gear to support JJ.
“It’s no easy at all, but they did it tonight,” Bleday told reporters of his family switching sides.
To make matters better, Bleday actually promised his girlfriend, Emily Mathewson — who grew up in Philadelphia and is in dental school at Temple — a home run to right field before the game.
Mathewson, who met Bleday at Vanderbilt, was actually able to get the ball after a close friend who works for Mathewson’s uncle bargained $200 for it from the fan who caught the ball, according to MLB.com.
“You can’t write it any better than that,” Mathewson told MLB.com. “He’s like, ‘I’m feeling a good oppo home run.’ I’m like, ‘No, no, we’re in right tonight.’ He’s like, ‘OK, I’ll get it done for you.”