Every so often, we get a reminder that sports actually do some good in the world, or at least make people feel good.
One of those reminders came on Monday, when Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen shared a letter he received from a young fan named Matt Graeber. McCutchen had met Graeber at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where the child was recovering from a brain abscess this past summer.
Here's the note transcribed in its entirety.
Dear Andrew McCutchen,
This summer I suffered a brain abscess and spent most of my time in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. During my stay I was lucky enough to meet you when you visited to do art with the kids. Every night I looked forward to watching the Pirates and was thrilled to know you were coming to visit. Baseball is my favorite sport and I was not sure if I would ever be able to play again. Your visit helped inspire me to get better.
I am [feeling] better now and playing baseball again. This past weekend I played two games and hit three home runs. I am sending my first home run ball to you as a thank you.
Thank you again for the visit and picture you drew me in the hospital.
That’s right: Graeber reversed the popular sports tradition, sending the professional one of his amateur home run balls. Which is adorable. And tear-jerking. Not that we cried or anything. Whatever.
According to the scrawl on the baseball, Graeber’s homer went 230 feet to centerfield.
Matt, we’ll see you in the majors in a few years.
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