From Boston Globe sportswriter Peter Abraham:
John McDonald, a (Toronto) Blue Jays infielder, lost his father to cancer last week. Before Jack McDonald died, he told his son to hit a home run for him when he went back to the team.
McDonald, who had only 13 homers in his 12-year career, told his father that he would try but it wasn’t that easy.
McDonald rejoined the Blue Jays from bereavement leave on Saturday and played in his first game on Sunday — Father’s Day.
Cito Gaston put him in the game in the ninth inning with Toronto down 9-3 and you can guess what happened next. Yes, McDonald belted a home run. He returned to the dugout and was swarmed by his teammates.
“We cried on each others’ shoulder for a good 30 seconds,” teammate Vernon Wells told reporters in Toronto. “When it went out, it was instant goosebumps. It kind of puts everything in perspective on whether you had a good day or a bad day at the plate or in the field. Wins and losses don’t really matter at that point.
“That’s one of the most special moments that I’ve gotten to see in this game. It couldn’t happen to a better person. I think that was the happiest loss that any of us have encountered in our professional careers.”
I love baseball.