March 20, 2011

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins aren't making headlines today because they made their second round of cuts, or because they look to be a strong team headed into the season. The Twins are making headlines because they are about to make a little boy's dream come true.

Through the Make A Wish Foundation of North Dakota, 9 year old Ryan Hoiland of Fargo is reportedly set to meet with his favorite baseball player, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, on Thursday.

Hoiland was diagnosed with immune deficiency at 2 years old and needs regular infusions to help replenish antibodies in his blood. Hoiland, beyond meeting Morneau, said he's excited to see the Twins players on the field.

"I just basically want to have fun in Florida. I heard it’s pretty warm in the spring and winter around there.” Florida may be warm in the spring, but stories like these are always warming to the heart. The battles kids like Hoiland have to go through are hard for anyone to understand beyond the kid himself and his parents, and there's no overstating how important positive experiences like these are for these kids.

The Minnesota Twins are an increasingly popular team in America, and it's not because of their play during spring training or their roster getting closer to being complete.

It's because they have players like Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Jim Thome, gentlemen of the sport that understand life is about much more than simply hitting a baseball and getting paid millions of dollars. It's stories like Hoiland's, kids getting a chance to for once smile in between regular check-ups and to enjoy every bit of life, that put everything in perspective.

As we get set to start another season of baseball, it's important to acknowledge the kids that have so much less but get so much more out of baseball than we ever could imagine, kids that can't jump up and down in celebration because of a condition or can't visually show their true appreciation for sports and life because they are in constant pain.

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