In late January, Ben Zobrist had an autograph appearance scheduled at a downstate IL shop called Bricks and Ivy Sports. I wanted to go, but between a prior commitment with friends, and the weather prediction for that day of multiple inches of snow, it was not the best day for to drive downstate.
Because of the weather, Ben's flight was canceled and likely, the signing was off. But Ben has always been great about meeting fans. So what did he do?
It was a great thing he did, because the first person in line waiting to see him was none other than Chicago Cubs superfan Lucky McMahon. Lucky had gotten a Zobrist jersey a couple weeks prior, and was anxiously waiting to meet one of his heroes. Ben wasn't about to let some nasty weather prevent some special memories from being made, and did something I've never heard of a professional athlete doing. He inconvenienced his life and risked his safety to be there for the fans.
Lucky's mom Paula got a great video of the first moments of Lucky meeting Ben Zobrist. Sound up!
And of course, there were lots of special photos taken:
During my video interview with Lucky and Paula, we talked about their meeting with Ben for a few minutes. I wanted to share that segment with you.
In case you can't play audio, my favorite bits:
• When they first got there, people let Lucky go to the front of the line to be first to meet Ben.
• When they first met, Ben extended his arms to pick up Lucky. That was the only child he held the entire day. What a thrill to have your kid held by a World Series MVP!
• When they got tickets for the event, it was just a ticket for one autograph, and Paula's friend brought a bat to be signed. Ben came back to meet Lucky again afterwords, and signed his hat, free of charge.
Way to go Ben Zobrist! You made this kid's day, month, and likely year! When I was talking to him about how he met you, he immediately got this huge smile across his face. It was a very fond memory for him, and something that none of them will ever forget. It may seem like something small just to say hello and get an autograph, but these experiences are some of the most treasured memories a baseball fan can have. Thank you Ben for making that drive to meet the fans that day!
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If this story has affected you personally and you'd like to help out, here are some suggestions:
• From Paula: For Lucky, support him, which has been wonderful. 😁I let Lucky experience everything with life. I want him to experience everything, take it all in. Think about contributing to the Hydrocephalus Association to help find a cure. In September, I am holding a very first Hydrocephalus Walk to raise funding for Hydrocephalus to help bring awareness to Hydrocephalus on September 26th 2020 in the Decatur IL area.
• Lucky LOVES baseball cards. Lots of people will send him baseball cards. He loves getting surprise packages of Cubs stuff. It really makes his heart smile. If you've got something to send him, let me know, and I can get you his address.
• Finally, a family friend put together a GoFundMe for Lucky's upcoming dental surgery. In this complicated age of health insurance, Lucky will incur about $2000+ worth of dental bills that insurance won't touch. Paula needs the money by April 3, 2020, with Lucky's surgery scheduled for April 17th. As of right now, if everyone who follows Cubs DNA on Twitter gives just $3, we can fully fill his fundraiser. That's such an achievable number, so I encourage you to be part of a team effort. Let's change Lucky's life!