We think when baseball players and a baseball team do something so special that it touches lives, it should be covered in the media. Fortunately, Josiah Viera has received the attention that he deserves and has brought great awareness to the struggles he faces everyday in his young life.
We all know that when a baseball player does something they shouldn’t do, such as the current situation in Major League Baseball, it’s all over the media. People want to know the gory details.
When a team like the New York Yankees is believed to be trying to save some money due to one of their players being involved in the scandal, it’s all over the media.
Guess it has to be.
What you’re about to read is what makes baseball so special to so many people. This is heartwarming, goose bumps up your arms stuff.
The State College Spikes were once an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but are now aligned with the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s a great organization in an excellent town. The club is owned by great people, with hard working men and women in the front office and on the front line. We aren’t sure how all of this came together, but we are damn glad that it did.
Here is the letter to the CDT editor that a good friend sent me this morning.
My wife and I attended the State College Spikes game on July 27, and we were treated to something extra special besides witnessing another dramatic last-inning, come-from-behind State College victory.
Nine-year old Josiah Viera, who was born with progeria, a rare, fatal genetic condition, was the Spikes’ special guest for the evening, and it was truly amazing to watch the young ballplayers interact with this little fellow. Josiah had his own official cap, ball, bat, glove and game jersey, was team captain for the night, threw out the first pitch, and presented the starting lineup card to the umpires.
He watched the game from the dugout, and was never without at least one Spikes player by his side the entire night.
Most touching, however, was after the game ended and the fireworks show was over, with the crowd filing out and very little light left on the field, there was a re-enactment of the game-winning hit, with Josiah as the hero. Led by Mitch Harris, the entire team cheered Josiah as he rounded the bases, and when he reached home plate he was greeted as if he had just won the World Series single-handedly.
As he was passed from shoulder to shoulder among the cheering players and accepting the wave of high-fives, his smile absolutely lit up the night. These outstanding young men likely gave Josiah one of the greatest nights of what will probably and sadly be an all-too-short life.
Well played, Spikes. Very, very well played.
Brett W. Tyson
The letter to the editor was in the State College Centre Daily Times