If you don’t know who James Hoyt is, then you should…. but don’t feel too bad, because I didn’t know who he was either. Let me tell you a fun little story of how James Hoyt in his first game as a MLB pitcher for the Astros, totally made my son smile!
A few weeks ago I was on an early morning flight to New York City (with a layover in Phoenix). The night before we had just gotten home from a 2 week road trip with our kids, so I was running on only 4 hours of sleep and I was exhausted. I had planned to try and sleep most of the plane ride. My husband had the window, I always get the awkward middle seat. That is when Marcia sat down next to me in the isle seat. I had never met her before, but after a little bit of “small talk” while others were loading. I could tell that she was just a bubbly, adorable woman. My plans to sleep were put aside and I found myself talking for almost 3 hours to Marcia.
Marcia told me all about her family, her dog, making her own almond milk, growing up in the big city then moving to the west and traveling with her kids. But when she asked me questions about myself… I could tell she was not asking simply to just fill our time while stuck on a plane. Instead she was asking about my family because she was just a “good soul” and kind hearted.
She happened to be on that flight to Phoenix to watch her son James Hoyt play his first MLB baseball game. He grew up here in Boise, and over the years has played for an independent league in Texas and even pitched in Mexico for some time. But he also cleaned boats to earn money… yes he was the guy you would hire to scrape the barnacles off your boat. Time, and hard work paid off and at age 29 he finally got drafted ( I think that is what it is called, lol) by the Astros and now is a MLB pitcher. She was so excited to go support her son, and cheer him on.
I then told her about my oldest son Matthew. Matthew is 14 and has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Long story short he was born missing half his heart and after 14 surgeries he is well enough to be a “normal boy”. He still only has half a heart, but it is now routed in a way that allows him to stay alive. Matthew also has seizures and significant learning delays. He is 14, but is the size and tends to act more like a 6 year old.
Matthew has played special needs baseball the last two years. It is the highlight of his year and he just loves every minute of it. When you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you, a baseball player. I told Marcia that Matthew and I will have to look for James, and Matthew would love to watch him pitch.
A few days after I got back from my New York City trip, I get an email from Marcia;
I hope you and your husband had a great time in NYC:-) Houston was such a fun time!!! Jimmy gave me a strike ball for Mathew that he pitched during his first outing with the Astros. Maybe when Jimmy comes home for a visit maybe they can meet each other!!
Have a terrific day and let me know the best way I can get this ball to you all. I am always running circles around town and could meet you anywhere.
She went out of her way to bring my son, my lil Matthew a ball back from a MLB game. It was signed by James and even had dirt from the game on it. From his first strike out in the Major League. Who does that…. who goes out of their way for a total stranger just to make a little boy smile? Marcia does, see I told you she was a good soul. I was so touched by her generosity. Matthew has the ball in a plastic bag on his dresser, and wants to get a special case so he can display it. It was one of the first things he wanted to tell his classmates at school about, as he went back to school. He sure felt special that he has his very own ball from a MLB game.
So…. Mr. James Hoyt, I have never met you, I didn’t know your name till about 3 weeks ago, but it will now be a name I will never forget. THANK YOU for making my son smile, thank you for making him feel special! And by the way, you have a pretty amazing Momma, but I am pretty sure you already know that!
Matthew at his special needs baseball game.
pic from MiLB.com
Pictures from his first game on Aug 3, 2016 in the 7th inning and the same day he gave us this ball from this game.
Here it comes—-
Pretty sure he’s telling the catcher that he needs that ball back to give to Matthew.
Above three pictures credit from the Houston Chron