While Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was struggling through his MLB record 0-for-54 slump earlier this season, he found support from an unlikely source.
A Boston Red Sox fan.
Nine-year-old Henry Frasca wanted to let Davis know that despite his loyalty to the Red Sox, he was in his corner. So on April 13, he wrote Davis a letter and asked an Orioles coach to deliver it before the game.
According to Davis, he read the letter, folded it up and put it in his pocket before taking the field. A short time later, the hitless streak was finally over. Davis delivered a first-inning two-run single that not only ended the longest hitless streak in MLB history, but also jump started a 3-for-5 performance that included two doubles and four RBIs.
So what were the words that inspired Davis?
Frasca revealed that while visiting Fenway Park again on Saturday.
"Dear Mr. Davis, from Henry Frasca, a nine-year-old kid and diehard Red Sox fan. There are two things I want you to know. First, the way you play baseball has nothing to do with how good a person you are. Also, you are incredible. You've played in the MLB. You've done it for a long time and everyone goes through a slump. Don't give up. We're rooting for you."
Unfortunately, Davis' fortunes haven't completely turned around since then. He entered Saturday hitting .176 in 89 games. But he hasn't forgotten Frasca's gesture or how it helped lift his spirits. That's why when the Orioles returned to Boston this weekend, he made it a priority to meet the young fan.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 18, 2019
As you can see, it wasn’t just a quick hello, thank you, here’s my autograph.
Davis brought Frasca into the clubhouse and onto the field before Saturday’s game, which Boston won 4-0. They played catch, shagged fly balls, tossed souvenirs over the Green Monster. Frasca even got him some airtime on the Orioles pregame show.
Basically, he got the ultimate baseball experience.
Kudos to Chris Davis for making all that happen. But really, a larger hat tip is due to Henry Frasca.
Putting our sports fandom aside to cheer on or lift up an opponent isn’t always the “cool” thing to do. Sometimes, though, it’s the right thing. Henry Frasca reminded us that it’s OK to be that fan.
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