It started with a challenge to a high school baseball team, and now Benjamin Smalls Ellis Querry has arrived.
The second son of Heritage High School baseball coach Rob Querry and wife, Julia, was born July 27, months after he became famous. The story of his dad’s challenge to his team — “If we win 14 games, I’ll let you name my kid” — spread not only throughout Brevard County but around the country and across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Panthers achieved their 14th win on April 5, defeating Harmony. The players had already chosen the name Benny Smalls, based on two characters, Benny the Jet and Scotty Smalls, from the classic baseball movie The Sandlot.
“Everyone is excited to welcome him. He’s a healthy baby, and we’re all doing well,” Julia Querry said Wednesday. “Big brother Brady is especially proud.”
Winning 14 games guaranteed the first winning season for the Heritage program. It was a high bar for a Panthers baseball team that had posted a 6-19 record in 2015.
Once the coach’s challenge was announced in a FLORIDA TODAY story, it spread to area and then national television. The Querry family and the Heritage players appeared live on NBC’s Today Show on April 2. By that time, they had chosen the name Benjamin Smalls.
Sandlot author David Mickey Evans, who lives in New Smyrna Beach, came to meet the team before a game and presented them with autographed t-shirts. Since the original splash, the Querrys have appeared on NPR, BBC and ESPN.
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