5 Recent Baseball Stories That Will Move You
With so much going on in the first month of baseball, it was easy to overlook some emotional charged and inspirational stories that have slide under our collective attention. While they don’t change the standings of our favorite teams, they are all reasons that we love the national pastime so darn much.
Here are five of the best that have occurred so far in this early season.
Teddy Kremer – The Most Excited Bat Boy Ever
Last year, Teddy Kremer’s parents won a silent school auction that allowed their son to be the Cincinnati Reds’ bat boy for a day. No one else bid against them because everyone knew how much Teddy loved the Reds. The Kremer’s son knew every stat by heart.
He is 30 years old and he has Down Syndrome. The Reds players talked glowingly about how Teddy raised everyone’s spirits with high fives all around and smiles for everyone in the clubhouse. Teddy was so loved by the Reds team they brought him back on April 18.
Before the game, Teddy asked for three wishes. A home run by his favorite player, Todd Frazier, 11 runs and 11 strikeouts so the crowd could win free pizza. He told Frazier that he loved him and he was his best friend. Frazier did his part… so did the rest of the team in route to a crushing defeat of the Marlins.
Take a look at the video and tell me that you wouldn’t find Teddy a permanent job somewhere in the organization.
Cade Johnson – Broken-Hearted Mike Napoli Fan
Five year old Cade Johnson is a die-hard Mike Napoli fan. He even dressed as the catcher for Halloween. In this past off-season, his dad shot a video when he broke the news that Napoli signed with the Boston Red Sox. Cade instantly broke down into tears.
The video made the rounds and ended up being viewed by Napoli. The slugger sent Cade two autographed jerseys – one Rangers and one Red Sox – along with a hand written note. Hopefully, Cade is out there smiling once again.
Jose Fernandez – A Lifetime of Stories at Age 20
It was only a short while ago when Jose Fernandez was still in Cuba. He tried three times to defect before finally succeeding with his family in 2008. His attempts weren’t at an international competition where he walked over to a cop to announce his defection. He and his family made the trip the hard way via the harrowing sea journey. His adventures had him avoiding being shot and going to jail. On one of the attempts, he jumped into the water to save someone who fell in. It turned out to be his mother. That sort of makes most teenagers’ normal drama pale in comparison.
Almost exactly five years later — at the age of 20 — he's made the jump from single-A to pitch for the Miami Marlins. Seems like cake. And it makes it hard to root against him.
Ryan Howard – Hits a Homer by Request for Blind Fan
On May 4, the Philadelphia Phillies held a "teacher appreciation night." A young blind boy named AJ was in attendance with his braille teacher whom he nominated. AJ gave Ryan Howard a special bracelet and asked him for a homer. Howard put the bracelet on and smashed a towering shot into the bleachers that night.
It makes you wish the Phillies would host more special nights like that.
Joseph Denver – Autistic Child Has the Best Opening Pitch Ever
On April 23, the Philadelphia Phillies were having an "autism awareness night" at the ballpark. Instead of reliving a World Series win in his living room, little Joseph came out to the mound and put on a show for the whole world to see. Unlike many boring and routine opening pitches, Joseph treated it like a once in a lifetime event as he should. He put his glove over his mouth like a real pitcher talking to hide his communication. He shook off his catcher’s signs from the Phillie Phanatic. He threw a strike and then dropped to his knees in celebration. His sister and the Phanatic played their parts and rushed out and piled on. Try to watch the video and not smile.
It is moments like those that make baseball more than just a sport. When it becomes fuel for life.
Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch and at www.facebookcom/craveonlinesports.com.