Photo: David McGregor Louise Radloff Middle School 8th grade student Mauricio Ayala talks with former Major League Baseball player Marlon Anderson about finding his lost iPad over the weekend. With the assistance of teacher Michael Ladd, Anderson got the iPad back on Monday.
DULUTH -- When Marlon Anderson lost his iPad last Friday, he was annoyed at its disappearance.
He'd grown accustomed to early mornings finger-swiping his way through the glow of digital information and entertainment. "I play some games, I read some books, I listen to music, and I keep notes on it," said Anderson, a former Major League Baseball player who lives in Duluth. "I use it for a lot of things."
Anderson had chalked it up as gone forever until he got a phone call Monday from Radloff Middle School's technical support technician Michael Ladd.
"I said, 'Is there a Marlon Anderson who lives there?' and he said 'This is Marlon.' and I said, 'Did you lose an iPad?'" Ladd said. "I identified myself and told him where he could come pick it up."
Anderson was excited to meet Ladd, so he could thank him. Turned out it wasn't Ladd who found it, though. It was a 14-year-old boy from Radloff Middle School.
Over the weekend, Mauricio Ayala found the device in the parking lot of Sam's Club in Duluth. "I gave it to (Ladd) and asked him if he might be able to find the owner," Ayala said. Ladd figured out whose device it was through information on the iPad's lock screen, which displayed Anderson's name. From there, it was only a matter of finding his phone number.
During an impromptu ceremony at the school on Wednesday, Ayala and Anderson shook hands. The former Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies second baseman autographed a baseball bat and posed for pictures with the young man.
Following the ceremony, Ayala said that once he had found the iPad, it was never a question whether he would seek out the owner. "My mom taught me, growing up, not to steal stuff from anybody," he said, adding that his mother was "very proud" of him.
She wasn't the only one.
Anderson said the boy's actions "really showed the goodness of who he is. He was taught by his parents to do the right thing, and that's exactly what he did. His mother did a good job instilling in him the values that will help him not just in this instance, but throughout the rest of his life."