It's probably the best save seven players on the Millersville (Pa.) University baseball team could possibly make.
Earlier this month, Millersville's team had arrived late one night for a tournament at Johnstown, Pa., and some of the players got hungry for a snack. On their way to a Sheetz convenience store, they came upon an upsetting scene. But the players — (clockwise from top-left in photo) Tyler Thomas, David Pine, Evan King, Dan Stoltzfus, Tyler Orris, Zach Stone and Tyler McDonald — kept their heads.
A car had hastily turned into a driveway ahead. The players heard screaming. A man held in his arms a young child, who had gone limp. He passed the boy to a woman, who laid him down on the ground. The couple appeared to be in a panic. The man yelled, "My son is choking! He's having a seizure! Somebody help!"
The players quickly approached. From Lancaster Online:
Chambersburg High School health class came rushing back to McDonald, 21, a third baseman.
"I started doing the checklist of CPR," McDonald said.
McDonald calmly told the child's panicking father, Shane Norman, to take off his jacket and put it under the little boy's head, to tilt it back and open his airway.
He told the child's frantic mother, Megan, who was trying to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to move the child's tongue out of the way and make sure nothing was blocking his breathing. McDonald then put his ear down next to the child's mouth, to feel if he was still breathing.
In the meantime, Pine called 911 on his cell phone, scanning the nearby street signs and summoning an ambulance.
"We were at Somerset and Napoleon," Pine said. "I think I'll remember that for a long time."
The Normans will remember too, as will anyone reading about the heroism of Pine and teammates, whose actions revived 2-year-old Braydin Norman, who soon opened his eyes. An ambulance came and, as paramedics wheeled the child away, infielder Tyler Thomas pulled off a yellow bracelet with the Marauders team logo on it.
"He put it on my son's wrist and said, 'Don't forget about us, buddy. Millersville baseball,' " Megan Norman said.
Doctors checked out Braydin and figured a virus had caused temperature to spike to 104.3, putting his life in danger. But he was going to be OK. The next step for the parents: Find the Millersville baseball team and thank them.
Using the bracelet and Facebook replies, the Normans tracked the team back to its tournament at Johnstown. Shane and Megan Norman, along with Braydin, stunned the players by showing up for the Marauders game against Slippery Rock. The reunion was full of smiles.
After Millersville won, the team presented Braydin with a signed ball and posed for pictures, all of which surprised their coach, John Shehan. He didn't know. The players hadn't told him what happened with Braydin.
"I said, 'Who are you getting your picture taken with?' " said Jon Shehan, of Ephrata, who is the father of two small children, including a son about Braydin's age. "I don't think they understood what they did, and how significant it's going to be for that little boy's life. They were surprisingly humble and nonchalant."
The final great part of the story: The parents returned Braydin home with a babysitter and came back for Millersville's next game. It was a loss, but with two extra dedicated fans in the stands — watching in the pouring rain, yelling at umpires, the whole bit. How else do you pay back a baseball team, other than to root for it?
Megan Norman said, "We weren't going to walk out on them for just some rain."
Millersville's season continues Thursday in the NCAA Div. II Tournament. They're the top seed in the Atlantic Regional.
- Sports & Recreation