During Friday’s edition of MLB Tonight, MLB Network will be airing a six minute feature spotlighting Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes’ relationship with the Wein family. Brady Wein was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia at three months old, and despite his cancer being in remission for three years, the five-year old continues to fight every day.
In the feature, Matt Yallof explores the relationship between Wein, his parents, and Gomes, who met the family in 2012 when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics. Gomes signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2013 season, and the relationship took off from there. Wein and Gomes have a special relationship, and it’s quite emotional to see the family’s reaction to a baseball player simply taking some time out of his schedule to make Wein feel special. Gomes even held up Brady’s name on a Stand Up 2 Cancer sign during the 2013 World Series, an inning before hitting a go-ahead home run for the Red Sox.
The world of sports needs more stories like this. Simple gestures from Gomes, like throwing batting practice to Brady at Fenway Park or letting him try on his World Series ring, mean so much to the boy and his family. There’s no real reason for athletes not to use their immense reach to make an impact on someone who has been dealt a bad hand in life, and stories like this one (and Adriean Payne’s relationship with the late Lacey Holdsworth, for that matter) give me faith that more athletes will hopefully try to make a difference in some lives with their actions off the field.