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  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoBoSo. Show GoBoSo's posts

    Shay loved the game too


          At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its

          Dedicated staff, he offered a question:


          'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.


          Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.


          Where is the natural order of things in my son?'


          The audience was stilled by the query.


          The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'


          Then he told the following story:


          Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.


          I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..'


          Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.


          In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.


          In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.


          In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.


          Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.


          At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?


          Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

          However, as Shay stepped up to the

          Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.


          The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.


          The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.


          As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.


          The game would now be over.


          The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.


          Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.


          Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.


          Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

          Run to first!'


          Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.


          He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.


          Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'


          Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.


          By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.


          He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.


          Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.



          All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'


          Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!


          Shay, run to third!'


          As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'


          Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team


          'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.


          Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!




          We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.


          The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.



          If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.


          We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'


          So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:


          Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?


          A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.


          May your day, be a Shay Day.



          MEMORY OF SHAY..............

    Note: I got this in the email today.  Please copy it, and pass it on to your friends.  Best, GoBoSo

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from mnawrath. Show mnawrath's posts

    Re: Shay loved the game too

    That's a great story.  Here is another that I am glad to say was my alma mater,

    From the Bennington Banner:

    Simple at-bat much more than that for BBA opponent

    Posted: 06/08/2011 11:08:53 PM EDT

    Wednesday June 8, 2011
    MANCHESTER -- In the box score, it's a ground out to the shortshop; a ball that traveled 100 feet.

    It was the last out in Burr and Burton Academy's 9-1 win over Lamoille on Tuesday in the Division-II semifinal.

    But to the person who hit that ground out and to those around him, it was the culmination of a journey more than a decade in the making.

    "The things we take for granted every day takes a huge effort for him," said Lamoille coach Greg Stokes.

    Lamoille Union High School senior Bryan Bathalon, was riding in a car in 2000 with some family members when they were in an accident. He was paralyzed from the waist down, Stokes says, and he couldn't walk for a year and a half.

    Complications soon after the accident forced doctors to cut the muscles from his bones; he's all skin and bones in his legs.

    "I never asked about it as a coach, but he spilled his guts for a Burlington Free Press interview," Stokes said, referencing a story written last May by writer Alex Abrami. "He said he put the seat belt behind his back, felt the impact and felt his back snap."

    After some surgeries, therapy and tons of hard work, Bathalon got a chance to play baseball. He played shortstop in his youth league and showed junior Sam Rooney, his best friend, how to throw a knuckleball, something Rooney used against Burr and Burton.

    Playing junior varsity in ninth grade, he was going to play JV again as a sophomore, but the program folded.


    So Stokes chose him to play on the varsity.
    "That was the year we were 1-15, so I thought I would try to let him pitch," Stokes said. "Last year he was good as anyone, but he was hit pretty hard this year."

    While Bathalon has pitched 20 innings this season and recorded a victory against Randolph, Tuesday's at-bat was only the third of the senior's varsity career.

    "The game was in hand for BBA, and I put in the rest of the seniors to hit," Stokes said. "He put the ball in play. He came back to the dugout joking around asking his teammates why they were complaining that they couldn't hit Eddie (Lewicki, the BBA pitcher)."

    BBA coach Adam Provost said the moment wasn't pre-planned or even discussed beforehand.

    "It made it that much more special," Provost said. "Eddie was pitching and he knew what was up, but we got the message across."

    Lewicki's first pitch came in about 60 mph, nearly 20 mph slower than his usual fastball. Bathalon took it for strike one. The Lancers' pinch hitter watched the second pitch come in, poking at it and fouling it back to the backstop.

    On the third pitch, Bathalon swung, hitting a grounder to the left side of the infield.

    Third baseman Riley Kevil made an attempt at the ball, coming up short. Shortshop Connor Stewart, backing up the play, snagged the ground ball. He held the ball, not sure what to do, but then in the spirit of the game, threw to Jake Stalcup at first, beating Bathalon to the base by two feet, ending the game.

    As he crossed the base, Stalcup patted Bathalon on the helmet and as if on cue, both teams came out of the dugout for him.

    "They weren't concerned in celebrating a semifinal win, they were more interested in him," Provost said. "He was pretty shocked at first."

    After the game, Bathalon received a game ball.

    "It was a great gesture by everyone involved," Stokes said. "I think he really appreciated it ... it was the only time in three years I've ever seen him cry."

    Later on, the buzz was more about Bathalon's unwavering spirit and perseverence and how BBA handled the situation.

    "Headmaster (Mark) Tashjian addressed the team and there have been a lot of e-mails going back and forth," Provost said. "I even got a great phone call from the Lamoille athletic director telling me what it meant for their community."

    Stokes said he thanked Provost for how it went down.

    "It was a heartwarming experience," Stokes said.

    Bathalon will attend the University of Vermont in the fall and Stokes said everyone will miss him wearing the Lancers' number 14.

    "He's just a good kid and he's been an inspiration," Stokes said.

    Provost said he'll always remember the moment and be glad that Burr and Burton was a part of it.

    "It was a magical moment in baseball lore; something far beyond the game," he said.