Twelve-year-old Hayden White has dreams of becoming a sports broadcast journalist. The Osawatomie, KS resident pays as much attention to the play-by-play commentary as he does to the stars of his favorite teams on the field. To celebrate Hayden’s passion for sports, Crossroads Hospice staff organized his Gift of a Day: VIP treatment at a Kansas City Royals Game, including throwing the first pitch to his father, Erik.
The evening kicked off with a barbeque tailgate prepared by the Crossroads team. After dinner, Hayden and his father were escorted to the dugout to prepare for the first pitch. Royals mascot Slugerrr the Lion stopped by to help Hayden practice his throw, and designated hitter/first baseman Billy Butler visited to wish him luck. The crowd cheered as Hayden reached the pitcher’s mound and appeared on the Jumbotron. The big moment had arrived – the pitch to Dad was perfect!
Hayden and his family settled into a VIP suite generously donated by UMB Bank complete with couches, pillows, food, drinks, air-conditioning, and perhaps most exciting – a 42-inch television for Hayden to see the action. Sluggerrr came up to the suite to see what Hayden thought – thumbs up all-around. Because of the comfortable environment provided by the Royals, Hayden enjoyed the game all the way through the eighth inning. It was a game Hayden and his family will never forget.