The return of Jason Giambi’s home run ball means honorary Goon Squad membership for 6-year-old Jake Raffin

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If you thought yesterday’s walk-off win was unbelievable, imagine what it would be like to get the ball Jason Giambi blasted to deep right field.

Rocky River resident Dominic Raffin’s 6-year-old son Jake tracked down the home run ball in the ninth inning and returned it to the Cleveland Indians last night. He initially received a Giambi autographed bat, which Jake thought was much cooler than the ball.

Wednesday, Jake received an even cooler gift — honorary Goon Squad membership from Jason Giambi himself.

The Great Giambino stopped by to meet Jake, giving him a pair of batting gloves to go with that bat, and of course, a Goon Squad t-shirt. “Thank you so much for returning the ball, it really means a lot,” Giambi said.

Big G is Jake’s favorite baseball player, of course.

Giambi’s pinch-hit, game-winning, two-run homer to right in the bottom of the ninth off Addison Reed on Tuesday helped the Indians remain in the second American League Wild Card spot. It was Giambi’s second walk-off homer of the season and third pinch-hit homer of 2013.

Dominic Raffin said he knew it was gone as soon as he heard the crack of the bat. “You could hear it no matter where you were at in the stadium. I remember my eyes getting bigger and bigger and saying ‘It’s coming at us Jake!’ Next thing I know, Jake is sitting next to the bullpen fence playing catch with the ball in his glove, just like nothing happened.”

Shortly after the celebration, Jake’s mom, Wendy, called asking if they stayed for the whole game.

“Yeah we stayed for the whole game…Jake has the ball!”

– TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling


Giambi is such a cool dude… got to meet him when he was with the Yankees. Really cool experience for that kid and his family!!

What a nice gesture! GO TRIBE BRING US MORE WIN….

Classy guy

That’s good baseball karma right there! Giambi is a class act and I’m glad he’s on our side. That karma is going to work wonders in the playoffs. ROLL TRIBE!!!!

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