Meeting special people on a special day.
This young man was one of many patients the Astros met during their visit to Scott and White Hospital during the final caravan day through Temple, Texas on Wednesday. He was timid at first, but thanks to a very congenial Michael Bourn, it took no time at all for Tyran to relax with our players and enjoy the company.
Tyran’s mother sat back and marveled at how happy Tyran was with the lavish attention everyone — Bourn, J.R. Towles, Brad Mills and bullpen assistant Javier Bracamonte — heaped upon this young man, and it was yet another reminder how little ballplayers have to do to make someone’s day and positively affect a young life.
The players carry autograph cards with them on these caravan trips and hand them out to anyone who wants one, and soon, Tyran had a stack of mementos. It was touching enough just watching the scene unfold, but it was Tyran’s mother’s words at the end of the visit that really moved me.
“I’m his foster parent, and we just got him,” she said. “I haven’t even been able to bring him home yet. I was wondering how I was going to decorate his room when it was time.”
Pointing to the stack of autograph cards, she said, “Now, I know exactly how to decorate his room.”
The compassion people carry with them — they’re truly angels on earth — never ceases to amaze me. Parents come in all forms, as do those who dedicate their lives to caring for people who are dealt a terrible hand in life. The hospital workers at Scott and White who escort us through the hospital every year had a gut-wrenching hour just before we arrived — they lost a young patient to whom they had grown incredibly attached. “We’ve had a terrible day,” one woman said tearfully. “Please bear with us.” Then she gathered herself, put on a smile, and walked us into every patient’s room with the same unbridled enthusiasm.
Yes, we look at baseball players as heroes, but let’s not forget the everyday folks who do absolutely extraordinary things. When you work in sports, you’re reminded of this practically every day. Wednesday was one of those days.
Tyran could not take his eyes off Bourn, and I think Mike became pretty attached as well.
The group with more patients at Scott and White.
A difficult day for those who work at Scott and White. Yet they still made the day special for dozens.
A few patients’ rooms were off limits because the kids were too sick, but others were inhabitable only if the guests wore masks and gowns. Here’s Bourn getting suited up. I posted another shot on Twitter.
After the hospital visit, we had a major change of pace…lunch at the Temple Lions Club. This is always a raucous hour attended by Drayton McLane and a few dozen locals. An auctioneer raffles off a handful of Astros goodies…signed bats, balls…and a Milo bobblehead!
Then it was off to Yoe High School, the alma mater of one Drayton McLane.
After the autograph session following the assembly…it was time to head back to Houston.
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