Little League player photo goes viral

Little Leaguer Leo Hueners. (KELO Photo)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — You may have seen the photo of two young boys wearing different baseball uniforms, hunched over their phones. It comes from the Little League World Series last week.

While it may seem like they’re distracted by technology, it was actually a moment of learning for a young man from Sioux Falls.

Leo Hueners was enjoying his time in Pennsylvania, playing ball with his friends and watching other teams chase their dreams.

While waiting to watch the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Leo noticed another young man sitting alone and decided to join him.

“I scooted over next to him and then he was trying to talk to me but I couldn’t understand him,” Leo said.

The other boy was from the Dominican Republic and didn’t speak any English. Instead of walking away, Leo decided to use his smartphone to translate a conversation with the boy named Benny.

“He was wondering what my name was and I was wondering the same thing about him. And then he was wondering who was playing that night,” Leo said.

During their chat, a sports reporter snapped a photo of the two. It was posted on Twitter and quickly went viral.

“It really got so much bigger than really I ever thought it could be,” said Leo’s mom, Sarah Hueners.

The photo has now been shared thousands of times. Leo’s mom said the moments of reaching out to kids from other walks of life are what made the whole experience worthwhile.

“You hope that you’re raising a kid who cares about things other than sports, and this did make us feel like he was there for something bigger than just to play baseball or to hang with his friends. He was there opening his horizons and learning and talking to people of hugely different cultures,” Sarah said.

“It’s just been so fun. Everything about it is just awesome. The experience was great and I’ll remember it forever,” Leo said.

Sarah said Leo didn’t get Benny’s phone number, but they’re now working to get connected to him again.