September 10, 2008

Hermida gives Tyler Babel the tour

Marlins right fielder Jeremy Hermida was the host and tour guide as he led Tyler Babel through the Marlins’ clubhouse before Wednesday’s Marlins-Phillies game.

Tyler, 6, got the red-carpet treatment from the Marlins players. Luis Gonzalez came over to give him some batting gloves and Dan Uggla and others stopped and joked with the first-grader.

There were some bats and autographed balls, and of course there was the moment when Hermida led Tyler up the steps from the dugout and onto the field at Citizens Bank Park.

“This is awesome,’’ said Tyler, wide-eyed and staggered by being on the big league turf.

Hermida set up the tour for Tyler, who was hit in the face by a foul ball on Aug. 5 that sailed off Hermida’s bat. Tyler suffered three fractures, and spent three days recovering in the hospital.

But Tyler, his older brother Matthew, 8, and mom (Anni) and dad (Matthew) were all smiles Wednesday. They each wore red Phillies T-shirt jerseys with black Marlins caps. The kids wore Ryan Howard jerseys and mom and dad wore Chase Utley jerseys.

“The Marlins are my second favorite team,’’ Tyler said.