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Fans Of Indians Baseballer Ryan Merritt Pitch In To Buy Him Wedding Gifts

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

On Wednesday night, Cleveland Indians pitcher Ryan Merritt went from zero to hero to salad spinner owner. We'll explain.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Indians were one game away from the World Series. Ryan Merritt took the mound. It was his second major league start ever, so expectations were low. But in the first inning, he retired three straight Toronto Blue Jays batters. And the next two innings, same thing - three up, three down. Cleveland took the lead and never looked back.

MCEVERS: Lifelong Indians fan Michelle Arendas, a Kent State student, was watching the game at home. And she thought, wait a minute, who is this guy?

MICHELLE ARENDAS: So I just Googled his name, and it was one of the first things that came up, was just the registry.

MCEVERS: The registry for his wedding. Turns out pitcher Ryan Merritt and his fiancee are getting married in January.

ARENDAS: I was like, you know what I'm going to do? I'm a huge fan. I'm going to say thank you, and I'm going to buy him an oven mitt.

MCEVERS: Why an oven mitt?

ARENDAS: I want to protect those hand so that they can go on to pitch in more games and maybe will pitch in the World Series.

SIEGEL: Henry Young, a retired postal worker in Athens, Ohio, thought of something clever, too. Before the game, a Blue Jays player told reporters that the inexperienced Ryan Merritt would be shaking in his boots.

HENRY YOUNG: So I got him a gift card and said, here, buy yourself some new boots.

MCEVERS: Young says it all shows how generous Cleveland sports fans are.

YOUNG: He'll never buy a drink or a meal in Cleveland ever again, I don't think.

SIEGEL: As of this afternoon, there was just one thing left on Ryan Merritt's registry - the classic down duvet insert - king-sized - from Pottery Barn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.