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Sean Doolittle plays impromptu shadow baseball with boy

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) When a baseball-loving boy stopped Oakland reliever Sean Doolittle by chance Monday to check out the A's bandanna worn by the pitcher's dog, the little guy got an impromptu opportunity to play shadow baseball with a big leaguer.

Doolittle and girlfriend Eireann Dolan were walking their Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, Stella, on Monday afternoon in San Francisco when 5-year-old Jordan stopped them to inquire about the dog's accessory and share how much he loves baseball. Dolan said that when she told Jordan that Doolittle is an A's player - he is currently away from the team while recovering from a recurring shoulder injury - ''he didn't believe me,'' she said in a text message to The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

''So I showed him the pic on my phone of Sean in uniform,'' she said. ''His response was to take my phone and ask if I had any games on it.''

Jordan also proceeded to use her phone to snap a selfie with the red-headed, bearded closer and take another blurry shot of Doolittle giving a thumbs-up sign.

''That little boy was too much,'' Dolan said.

Dolan posted the photo and video of their meeting on Instagram, and it became an instant hit.

The video clip had nearly 4,600 views as of Tuesday night.

Her caption read: ''This little boy saw us walking the dog and pointed to Stella's A's bandana. He told us he loves baseball. He asked if we could play and he made Sean be the pitcher. Sean was charged with the run. Kid had no idea who he was playing with. (disclaimer: I had permission from his mom to post) .''

For Doolittle, the interaction with a young fan was a welcome distraction.

''It is always refreshing to rediscover how much fun baseball is through someone else's eyes,'' Doolittle said Tuesday. ''Rehab and DL stints can be a grind, so during those times it was nice to remember how lucky I am to play a children's game.''