On July 13, 2021, baseball player Robert Anthony Cruz surprised his dad at his place of work with the news that he had been signed by the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team. The moment was captured on video and posted to Cruz’s TikTok account.
Cruz captioned the beginning of the video with: “Surprising my dad at his work with the news that I just got signed by the Washington Nationals.” He made sure to clarify in the caption of the video that his name wasn’t called in the draft, but he got a “surprise free agent contract.”
My Dad is a gem. Hardest worker I know. My name wasn’t called in the draft, but I got a surprise free agent contract.
The moment appeared to happen inside a Firestone Complete Auto Care body shop. A photograph of Harvey S. Firestone, the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, can be seen as Cruz walks from the lobby to the shop.
A Firestone employee congratulates Cruz on being signed. He then jokes: “But you gotta pursue a trade to the Dodgers though, all right?” Cruz agreed with him. Another employee calls out to Ron, his father.
When Cruz’s father realizes he got signed by the Nationals, he appears to become emotional, saying: “Congratulations, son. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me? That’s awesome. Oh my God. That’s awesome, son. I’m proud of you.”
The video ends with the father laughing as he asks “where is that going,” referring to the video. It may have been recorded by Cynthia, Cruz’s mother.
We noted a number of positive comments and congratulations in Cruz’s TikTok comments. A lot of commenters joked about the Washington Nationals logo on Cruz’s hats, saying: “Why does he have a Walgreens hat?” This is because the logos look similar.
The official @mlb account even responded, saying: “Why am I cryin in the club right now.” They included the “loudly crying face” emoji.
Several commenters remarked about Cruz’s father asking where the video would be “going,” saying: “‘Where is that going?’ It’s going EVERYWHERE.”
Robert Anthony Cruz
According to his profile on the Biola University website, he was born in 1998 and “enjoys photography, solving Rubik’s cubes, and gymnastics.” He majored in “biblical studies with the intention of playing baseball professionally after Biola,” as well as “going into ministry.”
The viral TikTok video will likely continue to spread, perhaps eclipsing the other baseball news of the day.