Fan vows to name daughter after Mookie if he homers -- and follows through

August 16th, 2023

On Aug. 2,  did something he’d done 241 times prior in his Major League career: hit a home run. While the homer extended the Dodgers’ lead against the Oakland A’s, it also changed the lives of a family in a way that Betts didn’t fully realize until recently.

While he was on deck in the second inning that night at Dodger Stadium, Betts struck up a conversation with fan Giuseppe Mancuso, who proclaimed that he’d give his soon-to-be-born daughter the middle name Mookie if Betts hit a home run.

“I turned around and told him, ‘No, don’t do that, man,’” Betts recalled in a video posted to social media on Tuesday. “‘Your wife wouldn’t like that.’”

But then Betts did something that forever changed the Mancuso family.

Four pitches after walking up to the plate against Oakland’s Hogan Harris, Betts launched a 436-foot home run to left-center field -- his longest homer as a Dodger and the fifth longest of his Major League career.

As Betts rounded the bases, he recalled on Tuesday, he wasn’t thinking of the interaction before the at-bat. After all, Betts has heard all kinds of promises from fans in the past. But as he crossed home plate, he could see Mancuso and his group of friends cheering like crazy. Betts went up to him and gave him a fist bump before entering the home dugout.

A couple of weeks later, Betts said his cousin, who handles his social media accounts, told him that Mancuso actually delivered his promise of giving his daughter the middle name: Francesca Mookie Mancuso. 

Betts said he hasn’t spoken to the fan. He’s not even really sure if the fan saw Betts’ Instagram post. But one thing is for sure: Francesca already has a huge fan in Mookie Betts. 

“I can’t wait to meet Francesca,” Betts said. “That’s going to be my girl."