There are only a few times in life when you come across something spectacular, something that completely blows you away.

Last night was that kind of night for my son, Ryan, his team, the Misfits, and me.

Let me introduce Ryan to you.

My son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblast Leukemia at the age of three (he is now 11 and is going on 5 1/2 years of being Cancer Free!) Ryan loves baseball and plays on an 11u Select Travel Baseball Team, the Misfits.

This is Ryan’s first year released to play any sport he chooses and well, Ryan loves baseball, so of course, his pick was BASEBALL. So this momma went hunting for something that would fit Ryan. I came across Dugout Sports advertising tryouts for a select team I said: “what the hell let’s try.” 

Ryan was chosen to be on the team coached by Joseph Franco and when I told him about Ryan’s past medical history Coach Franco took Ryan under his wing. He took his time to make sure Ryan was making it, but without making Ryan feel as though he needed the bit of extra help.

Right then I saw the character and the values of this team Ryan would be playing for and I was overwhelmed with the excitement of what was to come.

So on the weekend of 4/13/19, we played in an open tournament (means all types of teams would play – select, premier, elite). This was only our 2nd tournament as Team Misfits, and we played a team called Twelves (they were a premier Team ranked #4 and we are losing at this point 15-0).

Ryan is out in the outfield when a batter from the Twelves hits a pop fly to right and Ryan caught it! The first base coach from the Twelves and Coach Franco were in the midst of conversation when it happened and the coach from the Twelves mentioned that Ryan made a good catch. Coach Franco then opens his big mouth (we love you, Coach) and told the other coach about Ryan’s past medical history and that this was his first year being able to play baseball.

So the game continues and the Coach from the Twelves goes back to his dugout, after hearing Ryan’s story, and tells his team about Ryan.

Not a huge deal.

But then, at the end of the game, all of team Twelve gather on the pitcher’s mound and call Ryan out (I’m seeing it, but just thinking they were making sure he was ok because he hurt his hand while batting).

Wow, I thought. This team is so kind. It was amazing. They patted him on the back and Ryan walked back to our dugout. At this point, our tournament had ended, we had the team meeting after the game and we went on our way.

But it wasn’t the end of the story. It’s the beginning, really.

A couple of days later one of our other coaches, Coach Daniel, gets a call from a mother from the Twelve’s team. She tells him that the Twelves won the tournament and they won it for The Misfits and for Ryan!

She tells him they want to meet up with our team and give The Misfits their championships rings and give Ryan the Championship Belt (when Coach Franco calls me to tell me the news, I literally froze. I was utterly surprised).

The Twelves are teaching us all a lesson. You can be great at anything, but you can always stay humble, too.

So our Misfits and Ryan traveled to Katy, Texas to meet up with the Twelves so they could present us with the honor of dedicating their championship to our team and Ryan.

It was something I have never experienced in my life and will probably never again.

This kind act proves that just because you are the best (or the not so best) it’s still better to stay humble and kind to everyone no matter the situation.

Thank you to Coach Franco Coach Daniel, Coach Judge, The Misfits Players and families, The Twelves players, the Twelves families, and Coaches for showing what it is to care for something and someone you once never knew of.

Ryan’s Mom – Natalie Irwin

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