Make-A-Wish®: Hitting Home Runs with Baseball Wishes
On Tuesday, July 14, four Make-A-Wish® wish kids will attend the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Attending the event will be a wish come true for the boys who wished to witness baseball’s mid-season showcase in person. But this is just one of the many baseball related wishes that Make-A-Wish grants to children with life-threatening medical conditions every year.
The baseball wishes Make-A-Wish grants are just as unique as the wish kids themselves. Not every baseball wish involves meeting a famous team or going to a great game, but that doesn’t make the wish any less special. Sam, an 11-year-old with neuroblastoma, wanted so badly to play baseball with his friends again that he wished to have a baseball field in his backyard.
Through the generous support of two local colleges and community members, the sod, clay, fencing, backstop, irrigation system and even a scoreboard were provided. Farris Field, named after Sam, was complete. Soon Sam and his 18 teammates—the Mantachie Muddogs—were ready for opening day. The players’ parents even donated popcorn, soda and hot dogs to create a Major League Baseball atmosphere.
All that was left was a team to play, so players from Briarcrest Christian School stepped up to the plate. A former student there and active Make-A-Wish supporter, Brandon Hensen, passed away in a car accident in 2002 and in an effort to preserve his legacy, his parents sponsored the wish and arranged for BCS to play against the Muddogs.
By the time Sam threw the first pitch to his brother Dennis, the majority of the community was there cheering him on. The Muddogs ended up winning 11-6, and Sam did his part by scoring a run and a base hit.
Wishes unite communities, and few exemplify this better than Sam’s wish—it even won an award! By donating its time, resources and support, Sam’s community, through Make-A-Wish, exceeded all expectations and provided him with hope and joy he can take with him through the difficult days.