With shoulder length golden hair streaming from beneath his blue Mets cap, the interlocked NY symbol atop the bill, five-year-old Ashtin Gerberg has the look of a big league pitcher down pat. Toss in the fact he resembles one of his favorite right-handed hurlers from his favorite team – the New York Mets – it was only a matter of time before someone recognized his likeness to starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
In a video that has since gone viral, with more than four million views, the Mets organization recently paid tribute to the Leland youngster for his likeness to Syndergaard by tweeting the :45 second clip along with the proclamation, “Mini Thor is the most adorable, but intimidating thing you are going to see all day. Check out 5 year old Ashtin G.”
“I started growing his hair because I really liked it,” said Aaron Gerberg, Ashtin’s dad. “It had nothing to do with Syndergaard. Ashtin loves the hair, too. It’s his thing so we kept it. Then we realized the hair looked just liked Syndergaard’s so we started calling him ‘Little Thor’ and then we started posting pictures of him on days that Syndergaard pitched.”
Syndergaard gained the nickname “Thor,” the hammer-wielding, thunder-making god of Norse mythology well-known among comic book enthusiasts, after posting a picture of himself on Twitter in full Viking costume during a workout in 2014.
Toeing the crack in his driveway just like Syndergaard does the rubber from 60-feet, six-inches every five days, “Mini Thor” faces a 3-2 count against an invisible hitter. He delivers a perfect strike down the middle as dad storms the bump to celebrate the win.
Since the Mets posted the video on their official Twitter account about a week ago, the preschooler has made the rounds like a big leaguer. From being featured on nearly every national sports website across the country, to his recent radio interview and television spot in New York, Ashtin has since been invited by the franchise to Citi Field in Queens later this summer.
As the interviews continued to pile up, with the video collecting click after click, the social media community started a push to get Ashtin to a game. They started a #GetAshtinToCitiField hashtag that gained traction, which caught the attention of the Mets’ front office.
“We really appreciate all the support,” Gerberg said. “Many thanks to the Mets for making this happen. One of the best things I heard from him when asked on radio by 1010 WINS what he would say to some of the Mets players when he met them, he said he would tell [Yoenis] Cespedes to catch fly balls with two hands.”
Great advice for every ball player, even Yoenis Cespedes, the flashy highly paid free agent the Mets scooped up during last year’s playoff run, who gives fans plenty of highs of lows thanks to his incredible presence at the plate, but sometimes unthinkable plays in the outfield.
While Ashtin eagerly awaits Syndergaard’s next start and his trip to the Big Apple to meet his favorite superhero, the young ballplayer can’t get off the field. He’s been playing baseball since he was 13 months old, according to his dad.
Ashtin currently plays in Leland for the Cubs in machine pitch. He’s also served as bat boy on several occasions for the UNCW softball team this spring, with his dad Aaron proudly looking from the press box while he serves as play-by-play announcer on the Seahawk Digital Network.
Watch Ashtin in the video gone viral by clicking here.
Watch Ashtin take batting practice by clicking here.