As some of you know, my nephew and niece both have cystic fibrosis. This sometimes necessitates time in the hospital. This year has been particularly hard on them.
Both were in the hospital last week in Lexington when some of the Red caravan guys came in. Dusty, The Cowboy, Eric Davis, and Chris Heisey showed up in Christopher's room just to say hi.
He's a pretty big baseball fan and they kind of perked up a bit, talking with him. Earlier this year, Chris got to go to Boston (his favorite team), meet with Big Papi, and hang out before the game at Fenway. They had a good time, but, because of the game and the playoff implications (against the Angels, late in the season), he didn't have much time.
The Red guys stayed and talked with my niece and nephew for more than an hour. Heisey, according to my brother-in-law, is as nice as they come. Eric Davis' ring isn't any nicer than Ortiz's, but his Rolex was (according to my nephew) "awesome". Baker told Christopher he needed to switch teams and Chris told Baker he needed to win for him to consider it.
But the kindest guy, according to all in the room, was Brantley. He came earlier than the others, squatted down next to my niece (who doesn't care at all about ball, but hasn't ever met a stranger), and asked what she was doing. He played Chris on his video game, talked for a while, then, an hour or so later, as he was leaving, asked the nurse if the kid would be alright. Nice guy. Nice team.
No media was there, BTW. No sportswriter either. Just some guys who made one 13-year-old forget his discomfort for a while and a little girl call her uncle to let him know she'd met "her uncle's" Reds.