Wednesday, August 28, 2013






Two Choices
What would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its
Dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?'
The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the
Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!
Run to first!'
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!

Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

ed note. . . .please scroll waaaaaaay down for comments.  thanks.......and...sorry.  .justin


Gary Kelly said...

I'm normally a big sucker for that kinda stuff. And if it hadn't been for the foot note, I would have been once again.

jimm said...

This reminds me of J-Mac, the autistic high school basketball team manager given a chance to play in the final game of his senior year. He then went out and wowed the crowd as he scored 20-some points, mostly 3 point shots, all contested.

Did you ever read this book, 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' ?

Anyhow, from my own experiences, I can really appreciate what those boys did!


Justin, you sure bring out the best of feelings in everyone. I know that you have your tear glands next to your heart. I really needed to brought to the Light of real Love. Justin you are truly an empathic being. Thanks Again, Justin, you
can't hide your heart felt tears.

JustinO'Shea said...

Soory, Gary. . .I should have edited that last part away first. It is done now.. . .. .with a long scroll down to this section. sorry. justin

Stew Adams said...

Wouldn't it be great if this was a common thing.

JustinO'Shea said...

YES!!!. . .indeed. . . ;-)

Richard said...

This one has been going around on the net for better than a decade. It's very heartwarming, but likely never happened. See

JustinO'Shea said...

Fairy Tales have been passed around for decades and decades and decades..;-))). . . and that literary genre has a place and serves a purpose in society, in our various cultures because it contains/teaches a core of truth and value
. . .and, like this one, that idea of "wouldn't it be loverly!". .
I vote we keep it. justin

Gary Kelly said...

Fairy tales are fine if they are presented as such. Aesop's Fables have always been great teachers without pretending to be true stories.

JustinO'Shea said...

Are you suggesting SHAY be removed?

Gary Kelly said...

Who said anything about removing it?

Coop said...

I agree with Gary. This story teaches a lesson. Fiction or not... doesn't make a difference.

There's a similiar lesson at the end of the movie "Cars".

JustinO'Shea said...

Hear! Hear! Himself has spoken! yo ho ho

Thank you. . . ;-)

J said...

I think this story gets passed around because it makes people think that the world is a lot more decent than it is. If it calls us to an ideal, it is a good thing. So now its time to turn on the news to see who in this world has balls enough to strike at Dr. Bashir al Assad, perhaps the cruelest gasser of children since Mengele.

Gary Kelly said...

Good point, J. By using our imagination to dream of an ideal world, we give ourselves something to aim for. Our brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom don't have such a gift.

justin.oshea said...

It's all OK. . nest-ce pas? ;-)