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Colorado Wish Kid Has 'Best Day Ever' with Pittsburgh Pirates, McCutchen

Matthew gives McCutchen a "Beat Cancer" T-shirt
On Tuesday, July 22, our local Make-A-Wish chapter and the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted a very special kid -- twelve-year-old Matthew from Colorado Springs, CO. Matthew is battling germinoma, a cancer of the central nervous system, but he hasn't let that stop him from doing what he loves -- playing baseball. His favorite player is Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates and for his wish, he wanted to have lunch at center field with the reigning National League MVP.
Matthew doned a grin from ear-to-ear when his favorite player came walking across the field to their table at PNC Park's center field.  Many laughs were shared as Matthew, his family and McCutchen enjoyed a lunch of crab legs and chicken fingers, Matthew's favorite foods, on a sunny day in Pittsburgh.  

Lunch was just the beginning of what Matthew called "the best day ever."  He played catch with the all-star before he was taken to the PNC Park Press Conference Room where Pirates President Frank Coonelly signed him to a one-day contract.  Coonelly, General Manager Neal Huntington and Manager Clint Hurdle presented him with his own personalized jersey. 

"It's amazing, it's more than we ever could have wished for," Matthew's mother said. "I'm glad we get to do it with everything he's been through."

That night, Matthew made his Major League Baseball debut as he threw a perfect first pitch to McCutchen.  Matthew had a dozen family members who live in Western Pennsylvania watch him take the mound at PNC Park.

"I'm pretty good to be playing MLB at 12 years old," Matthew said during his press conference.

For Matthew and his family, the day felt like a home run.  It was a chance to forget about cancer and gain hope, strength and joy to conquer any challenges that lie ahead.

ROOT SPORTS FEATURES MATTHEW'S WISH


PHOTOS OF MATTHEW'S WISH

  • Meeting the Cutch

  • Lunch at center field

  • Matthew at PNC Park

  • Playing catch with the Cutch

  • Matthew signs contract with Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Matthew gets his own jersey

  • Ready to throw out the first pitch

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