BOSTON - As Michael Chavis approached a small group of cameras awaiting his thoughts on the first home run of his career, a reporter accidentally stepped in his way.
Chavis sidestepped, spun, and tossed a Kobe-esque finger roll at an imaginary rim. We can only assume it swished.
On an otherwise lost night for the Red Sox, who swept in a doubleheader at the hands of the Tigers, Chavis provided one of the few highlights -- a mammoth 441-foot home run over everything in left field that allowed him to fulfill a childhood dream and circle the bases as a big leaguer.
"I felt like I was floating, honestly," Chavis said after a 4-2 defeat in the nightcap. "Just kind of tried not to sprint. I've seen a couple of other guys hitting their first home runs and they sprint because they're so excited. I kind of tried to act like I had hit a home run before and stayed calm in that kind of moment. It was special for sure."
Even more special was the way he retrieved the ball. Whoever corralled it on Lansdowne Street -- a father and son leaving the park, per NESN's Guerin Austin -- gladly turned it over when injured Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia signed a ball and offered it in exchange.
"I need to thank Dustin," Chavis said. "Apparently, he signed a ball so whoever found it would give me the ball and they were very gracious so if they see this, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. It's not going to happen again, so it's really special."
Chavis had the ball in a sock to keep it from being damaged and planned to hand it over to his mom, Dorothy, who led an emotional, enthusiastic cheering section of three or four in the family seats at Fenway.
"Without a doubt," he said. "She earned that ball."
Added Chavis: "Oh, man, I'm sure she was going crazy. After the game, I gave her a big hug and it's always, just, any time she can come out to a game, it's special. Obviously, we travel a lot and she doesn't get to come out as often as she likes but her being here might have been the biggest part, honestly."
Four games into his career, Chavis owns a crucial double vs. the Rays for his first hit, and now a homer. He's floating all right, like Kobe soaring to the rim.
"I'm starting to get more comfortable, more settled in, not to downplay it at all, it was, without a doubt, a special, unbelievable moment I'll remember for the rest of my life, but that first hit was next level," Chavis said. "The moment in the game and me not really being aware, it was just wild. It was a notch below that one, but it's still a life-long memory for sure."