Thirteen-year-old Jake got the wish of a lifetime. Not only did he get to meet his favorite baseball player from his favorite team, but he also got to participate in a way very few people do.
All of Jake's family members are Giants fans. They arrived several hours before the game -- each sporting a black and orange ensemble -- but already there was a lot of buzz around the stadium. That it was the first of a 3-game series against the Dodgers meant an even louder buzz.
The family was immediately whisked through security and walked right up to the field to watch the team batting practice. Within seconds, Matt Cain was walking up to introduce himself to Jake. Then came Joe Panik, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford. They each took the time to talk with Jake, sign his ball and take photos. Jake took it all in with big smiles.
Next the family was escorted into a private room where Jake received his ultimate wish…to meet Buster Posey! Jake was nervous to have his favorite player directly in front of him, but he was also excited and happy. He asked, “what’s your approach at the plate?” – a loaded question of strategy, but Posey didn’t disappoint. He gave Jake a few inside tips on a safe-bet approach to sizing up the batter.
After a short break for food, it was time for an extra special opportunity made possible by Macy’s, a long-time partner of Make-A-Wish and sponsor of the Giants. To make Jake’s wish truly memorable, they arranged for him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch!
Jake plays baseball regularly and didn’t tell any of his schoolmates about the first pitch, but that didn’t stop him from feeling some jitters. He threw fake pitches to warm up his arms and got tips from his dad and grandpa to ensure the ball made it. The best advice, however, came from a Giants staff member: “When you get up to the mound, make sure you take a few seconds to look around and soak it all in.” The pitch was quick and perfect – and made it all the way to home plate.
All photos ©2016 S.F. Giants